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Datum House

New House for Usonia, Pleasantville, New York
Photography: Lynn Massimo, Esto

This is a new house for the neighborhood cooperative Usonia, which was planned by Frank Lloyd Wright 30 miles north of New York City. Usonian qualities are mandated, such as single-level living, flat roofs, horizontal overhangs, and natural cypress horizontal siding.

Unlike the flat, open, prairie land that inspired the low-lying Usonian prototypes, this site is densely wooded with a radically undulating topography. The roof strikes a horizontal datum in contrast to the landscape and forest. The gap between this artificial horizon above and the natural profile below is the space for dwelling.

Datum House is organized by a series of storage zones to contain the accouterments of our contemporary hyper-consumer society. Here, Wright’s free flow of space between the interior and exterior has been inverted: space flows instead among interior islands of commodity.