A lot of consideration is given to the elements that make each home special. Each one is designed according to a unique set of particularities and requests coming from the client or dictated by the location and the conditions on the site. The Elizabeth II house is an interesting case because it didn’t have to be exposed to the views or to have a futuristic form. Instead, it needed to be very well insulated from an acoustic point of view.
The house is located in Amagansett, a resort town in New York, USA. It was completed in 2014 by Bates Masi Architects, a company with over 50 years of experience and a dedicated team of researchers that constantly look for unique solutions to every challenge, as special and as varied as the clients they are designed for. Every project is seen as an opportunity to enrich lives and to enhance the environment.
Because of the location and the fact that the client wanted the house to be a quiet and tranquil refuge, special consideration had to be given to the acoustic of the building. In other words, the architects had to find a way to shield the house from all the noises coming from the exterior. This little detail was the element that dictated the form of the house, the palette of materials used for its constriction as well as a variety of smaller features.
The house was designed with a series of parallel walls designed to offer layers of insulation and privacy. The walls direct the sound waves past them creating a quiet interior. They’e not just any regular walls. They’re 20” thick and they have a poured concrete core wrapped in insulating foam. This allows them to offer excellent thermal insulation and to also have a very low sound transmission coefficient.
One of the details designed in theme with the rest of the project is the staircase. It too has been optimize to reduce noise, featuring tapered threads that change the pitch of the sound made by footsteps traveling up and down.
The interior walls were also custom-designed to suit the special requirements. Cedar board siding was attached to the walls using custom stainless steel clips and this makes both the interior and the exterior design of the house a very pleasant and welcoming one.
This project was a special one both for the client and the architects who had to do a lot of research on sound and the way it affects our perception of space. This allowed them to choose the perfect materials and forms for the project.
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