Cog House: Strategies for a Responsive Mediator

In collaboration with David H. Gwinn and Jared Days Serwer


The Cog House is comprised of a service “cog” and a exterior screen-wall, or “mediator.” The relationship between the two planometric figures varies throughout the house and is dependent on local programmatic requirements. The distance between the cog and the mediator fluctuates between four feet, to accommodate circulation, and fifteen feet, to house collective spaces. The service cog is conceived as a flexible figure that aims to contain service-related programs and divide served space(s).

The mediating screen-wall is thick, allowing the apertures to take on unique orientations. The directionality of the mass-customized masonry component is dependent on several variables such as the desired levels of natural light, the occlusion of sight-lines for privacy, and the framing of sight-lines to capture sought-after views.

The masonry units—some of which are parallelograms, others of which are trapezoidal—aggregate multicombinatorially. Together, they provide stark or attenuated transitions between opposing directionalities. The location of “benchmarks” of a certain aperture characteristic at specified locations act as fixed conditions, between which transitional components in-fill accordingly. Examples of benchmarks include (1) a group of perpendicularly oriented components to capture a view for the living area, (2) a band of obliquely angled components to prevent views from the exterior to the master bedroom, or (3) a set of acute-angled components to bring indirect sunlight into the office.

Project Team: Bhujon Kang