I set myself a new personal goal recently: to own a country house by the end of 2011. Nothing too grandiose, just somewhere simple to escape from the city, do some reading, perhaps grow some vegetables. Something like Simon Unger‘s Cube House (2000) would be nice, thanks.
Based in Ithaca, in upstate New York, Cube House is monolithic in scale yet very small in size. Its unapologetic opposition to nature, with solid cubist walls and lack of organic shapes, lends it a permanence and authority over the landscape.
Internally, the building is small yet functional. The ground floor contains a garage and studio; the first floor a small studio apartment with kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. The roof is a terrace, accessible via external stairs.
I like Cube House because of its domination over the surrounding landscape. To construct a building of any description is an act of asserting authority over the landscape, and in Cube House, Ungers doesn’t try to hide this. This results in a building of integrity and honesty, values that should be part of everyone’s weekends, and, for that matter, everyone’s lives.
Photos courtesy of Archphoto.