Kansas Concrete House
Construction Supervision: Andy mullet and John Gillis Landscape Design: Cynthia Gillis Concrete and Framing: Lonnie Finnell, and Dusselier Concrete Landscape Contracting and Suppliers: Wes Armstrong and Lyndsi Oestmann of Loma Vista Nurseries Civil Engineering: Harold Phelps Legal: Pete Heaven Concrete Supply: Geiger Concrete Windows: Aaron Peterson of MIO Sitework: Terry Lincoln Steel: Lawson Welding Floor Systems: Dennis Hotle
This house was designed for an architect and garden designer. [The authors of this website]
Its visual concept arose from many strands of function, structure, desire and need.
- Creating a single grand space for living, but with an intimate feel.
- Creating a building that will not blow away under the worst that American tornadoes could deliver.
- Using a simple and usually lowly material as a beautiful finish material (concrete)
- Using a shape (the octagon) to maximize space within the smallest enclosed volume, which results in a building that has low energy use.
- Creating a shape that focuses the occupants on the rising core of the house, reaching to the sky.
The house uses a rare method of construction - a concrete sandwich: a concrete wall made with concrete outside and inside with an inert rigid insulation in the middle. This isolates the inside from the outside, so that cool in the summer, and heat in the winter, stay inside.
The house is an octagon in plan, an almost circle. This all-around shape gives a sense of extending itself into the surrounding gardens and landscape in all directions. It has no wide expanses of glass, but unlimited doorways to every point on the compass, to every kind of garden and outdoor space envisioned by the garden designer. Each glass door is like a frame to a particular view outside.
Simultaneously and conversely, the main octagonal part of the house can as easily be experienced as having an inward and upward focus. Wherever you are, you are aware of the folded, sloping ceiling rising to the light-filled skylight. As the day passes, the house seems to pass through a solar circuit of light streaming down the central shaft of the octagon and through the eight clerestory upper windows spotlighting one part after another.
- Project Category: Houses,
- Location: Olathe, Kansas
- Materials: Reinforced, integrally insulated poured concrete structure, structural panel roofs, castellated beams, Finland birch panels
- Size: 5,000 sf (approx.)