When a Purist Architecture Magnifies the Nature

‘Twins: houses in five parts’ is a project designed by the Boston based practice William O’Brien Jr.
This two vacation houses for two brothers and their families is located in upstate New York, USA.


The houses, a regular six-sided polygon and a regular four-sided polygon, are made out of the same five shapes.
This design proposal is coming from the mathematical principle of “dissection” – any two regular polygons with equal areas can be divided into sets of similar shapes.


The polygons have been minimally dissected and rotated to fit within the plot. They contain the same five shapes made of four trapezoids and one triangle.


Programmatically, each shapes contain the same function for the two houses, but the different adjacencies makes each of them unique.




A functional agricultural field separates them visually (depending on season) while creating a physical link between them. The ribbon of land is planted with interwoven strips of leaf vegetables, berries, wheat and corn providing each house immediate access to each food type.


The abstract geometry and material (rubber roofing system) of the houses offer a reading of the forms as discrete volumes with different orientations made by the large apertures.




Architect: William O’Brien jr.
Project Team: Bhujon Kang

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