The recognizable aspects of original Norris homes and their settings are retained – a simple, rectangular volume with a gable roof is placed within the context of Oak Road. The interior of the home departs from the traditional, opening up the volume and allowing views and natural light to define new relationships between interior and exterior.
The plan of the home separates private and public. The living space becomes an extension of public activity within the home and in the site. A front picture window and rear exterior porch reinforce these connections. Adjacent spaces contain bedrooms, a bathroom, and a loft. These spaces offer the residents a retreat from the compact urbanism of Norris.
Windows and doors transform traditional placement to maximize passive response and views, and refined details reinforce spatial concepts.
The Town of Norris is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. From the outset the design team worked closely with a community engaged in its active stewardship and preservation. This dialogue and community reservations about how best to build a contemporary green home, prompted the design team to adopt the general form of original Norris cottages and to compose a rich spatial experience within.
The design of the home’s shell is adapted to the manufacturing process. This process ensures high efficiency of materials use, quick “product” turnover, and a degree of accuracy not always possible in the field. Other components were either fabricated off-site for on-site installation (decks, dormer, canopies, window and doors) or site-built as is traditional (siding and landscape elements).