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House Tattoos: Ink for Your Postgreen Home

by Brian Phillips on January 14, 2010 · 6 comments

in architecture,Design,facade

(Editors Note: Brian Phillips is the principle at Interface Studio Architects (ISA), the designers of our Postgreen Homes line. We are occasionally able to guilt him into writing a post.)

A big part of the fun of working with Postgreen is finding design opportunities within the tight parameters of budget, constructability and time constraints.  Simplicity has been at the root of much of our design process.  A key example of this elemental approach was established with the original 100K House in the decision to limit the exterior cladding to a single material.

120K Exterior Dusk Photo

By using only two colors of fiber cement panels we created a vertically proportioned, pixellated, urban camouflaged facade (as seen above). The M&M House and Passive House use horizontal fiber cement planks of varied widths and a painting strategy of different colored stripes adds variety to the otherwise simple exterior. (pictured below)

Final Paint Close Up Front

Our latest variant on this approach has come to be known as the “Tattoo House”.  The combination of flat cladding and paint has inspired a full-blown graphic strategy which explores the application of images to individual 2’ x 8’ fiber cement panels as seen in this early rendering of the Skinny Project.

Skinny Project Rendering

We’ve been working with local Philadelphia silkscreen artist Candy Depew to develop a method for the application of these unique architectural graphics.  Candy and her team will print on the panels using large format screens with up to 4 colors.  (Before installation the printed panels will be clear coated to ensure resilience through the remainder of the construction process and to prevent long-term color fading.)

Pixel Strategy

House Tattoo Pixel Strategies

In studying how to develop these house “tattoos” we’ve created a standardized approach for translating graphics — potentially from a variety of artists and sources — into a straightforward format for the 2’x8’ panels.

Panel Strategy

House Tattoo Panel Strategies

Our graphic investigation focused on how to crop existing images and patterns, the size of the images in relationship to the size of the house, and how to use color in a particular way that compliments the pattern and range of scale.

Crop Strategy

House Tattoo Cropping Strategies

Color Strategy

House Tattoo Color Strategies

It seems plausible that in the future Postgreen customers might be able to upload raster images and have them appear on their homes.  More excitement to come!

Click on any of the images to see larger versions on our Flickr page and please let us know what you think in the comments.

If you enjoyed reading this post I can promise you'll love our new writing over at Postgreen Homes. Yeah, we know that's the same thing your favorite band said and their new album is nowhere near as good as their early stuff, but seriously, we are actually still getting better.

There also isn't much conversation to be had here . . . at least not with us. So come on over to the Postgreen Homes Blog and tell us what you think of our new(ish) digs and crazy ideas. We will be sure to tell you what we think of your opinion.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Trendwatch Philadelphia: The House Tattoo « TheSomersTeamBlog
November 12, 2010 at 10:39 am
Trendwatch Philadelphia: The House Tattoo | Access Philly Real Estate Blog
November 12, 2010 at 11:05 am

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 lavardera January 14, 2010 at 5:04 pm

very cool, but – gulp! – what does an artist add to the cost?! Hand screened panels? I’m as worried that it would be expensive as I am that it would not be!

The treatment looks great – can’t wait to see it.

2 Nate Anderson January 14, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Looks interesting. Would like to know more about the overall cost of construction and how interiors can be laid out. Would be even cooler if the panels could some how be solar and still work as solid reliable construction. So many questions, but definietly interesting. I’ll be watching…

3 chad January 15, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Greg – The artist is working within our standard exterior painting budget which is not too bad. We will need to pay additional costs to clear coat the panels in the artist’s space prior to transporting and installing at the site. Overall, this will be a very small premium to the overall build cost while providing a very nice portfolio piece to the artist with some profit built in for them as well.

4 John Christos November 18, 2010 at 6:58 pm

I love the urban camo look. May I ask you who manufactured the panels?

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