A whimsical family home for the future of sustainable design

Haus Gables - MALL architecture, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Adjacent to the Atlanta railway trail in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, stands a jagged monolith of a family home. Designed by MALL architecture with interior design by Jennifer Bonner, this project reimagines the southern style family home, whilst bringing new materials to the forefront of design.

We like to start a space from the ground up; shaping complexity by building up rather than around. However, the theme of Haus Gables recognizes that with an ever-changing world comes new ways to build. Beginning with the roof, a series of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels create the clipped form, giving (from an outside view) the building its jagged appearance. But there’s nothing really whimsical about it, as every panel, from exterior and interior walls, floors, and roof have been made from solid CLT panels.

CLT, or cross-laminated timber, is a strong wood material that is made from gluing together layers of lumber that alternate in direction. Originally developed in Germany and Austria, this material provides design flexibility that previously was unrecognized and has gained popularity for its lightweight, durability and sustainability.

Tradition dictates that there are specific materials used for roofing (such as iron, steel, or ceramics) and there are specific materials for walls (such as brick, stone, or plaster). CLT, on the other hand, can be used for all of these aspects. Not only does it provide a structure for a home, but because of its planet-conscious construction, it is a sustainable material by its very nature.

So here it stands, a proof of concept that uses a creative roof design to create natural ridges and depth within the interior of a building.

Haus Gables interior features creative spaces dedicated to the separate living and dining areas; a striking black marble kitchen; two bathrooms, two upstairs bedrooms; home office; rooftop outdoor patio; and secret batman-like underground garage, laundry and wet room.

Double height spaces, generated by the unique roof line, give the illusion of multiple floors, while also making the interior space look wider, even though it’s barely the size (width-wise) of a single mobile home. Organizing architecture in this way affects the interior of Haus Gables, noticeable in the faux finishes of each room. A southern tradition, faux finishes come from an inability to afford precious materials. This is reflected in the interior of Haus Gables, where each room gives a certain theme.

The color-blocked kitchen brings a sense of pop culture to an otherwise minimalist design. Grey concrete, yellow vinyl, and black terrazzo make understated divisions from room-to-room, bringing a sense of whimsy to a rather intimidating structure.

This family home brings something new to the US market, showing how a material can serve as the basis for a home. It can guide a vision for what a domestic space can look like, slimming down and bringing life to a space through color, steep ceilings, sustainability and complexity of material.

MALL architecture

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