Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Reduction Residence is an awesome project of close collaboration with engaged and design-savvy clients. Designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, this modern house employs a subtractive design process to create clean living spaces. It also emphasizes the elemental quality of light over excessive details to create light-filled interiors. This residential project is started in 2017 and completed in 2019.
This modest post-war brick house sits in a beloved Pittsburgh borough, lacked the clarity, light, and movement that the owners desire. The process of this project also includes a simple removal, reduction, and refinish to provide the young couple and their three children a comfortable, distinctive, and thoughtful living place.
The house’s overall organization is re-used. The house spaces are opened up through the all extraneous interior walls’ removal. The consolidated storage spaces, new bathrooms, and existing kitchen are condensed into compact service walls to create clean living spaces inside the house for the clients.
Within the existing boxy structure, the desire for abundant natural daylight is transformed into the introduction of strategic “voids”. These “voids” extend along the ridge of the roof, down the stair, and across the house living room. These also cut through the exterior and attic, revealing the house’s natural structures and provide awesome indirect light while managing privacy as well.
The attic insulation, improved exterior, and new casement windows can increase the structure’s passive efficiency. There are also some operable skylights at the ridge cuts, drawing cool air through the new lightwells to ventilate the house naturally. On the second floor, low ceilings are raised to the top of the existing attic framing to provide organic texture and height of salvaged-in-place rafters.
At doors, windows, and walls, all existing trims are removed to leave a natural palette of white-painted plaster, wood rafters, ceramic floors, denizen floors, and clay-coated plaster. The existing damaged wood floors on the second floor of the house are salvaged and painted while the natural curated furnishings provide the desired wabi-sabi to create activates the light-filled rooms.
At the opened living room, the glass bay creates a deep inside/outside window seat under the canopy of the existing trees. This house also has a reconfigured stair that opens up the remaining interior walls, forming a framed entry view through the dining space of the house. It is a modern modified space to this traditional brick home.
Reduction Residence Gallery
Photography: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson