Still, it is with residential commissions that Abramson Teiger enjoy their most consistent opportunity for experimentation.
For the Krmpotich residence in Casper, Wyoming, completed in 2008, the architects were able to respond to an expansive landscape, similar to the Telluride project. Here, they generated an angular building split in two with a pair of main wings that reach gesturally toward the hilly site. All the elements of their repertoire are visible here; all realized, too, in a collage of materials that enriches the basic abstraction.
At the approach, the architects layered the building horizontally, starting with a concrete base that drops from the tops of windows to waist height, the concrete interlocking with cedar siding that rises to the roof. On the view side, the double-height fagade is glazed to take advantage of the long vista. Mullions are deployed in varying rhythms, animating the fagade.
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Roofs on Abramson Teiger houses are always restless—ajar, off the orthogonal. Here, the roofs are multiple, placed at different angles, pointing toward the view, where they cantilever past the front facades and fold up toward the sky. The angular roof forms, which shift like tectonic plates, energize the composition, recalling the jagged shapes of rock formations. Each roof operates as a plane, and without coming together at a ridge, they escape any connotations of traditional roofscapes and instead top the already abstract, asymmetrical compositions with another layer of abstraction.
The Davis residence in Toronto, Canada, completed in 2007, represents one of the most complete summations of Abramson Teiger’s philosophy: a design in which they orchestrated, refined, and balanced many of their ongoing strategies in a single project. Here, the architects recalled early notions of solid and void; they layered the design vertically, with a lower floor built in wood, which forms the base for an upper floor whose walls, surfaced in stucco and set back from the walls below, seem to form a set of pavilions. Separating the first and second floors liberates the geometry of each. The house is not an extrusion.
The whole composition rests on a plinth of stone that steps down to the rear yard. As in Wyoming, the roofs enjoy great geometric freedoms, taking wing above the body of the house, where, on the second floor, they cover loft spaces that rise freely to the angled planes. Glass makes up the geometric distance between the walls, which fall and rise in notches, forming windows and clerestories that offer views and admit the sun in huge light blocks that project on the wall and floor planes. Light, again, is treated as a building block, an intangible tangible integral to the composition and the environment. In the rear facades, the architects subordinate the mullions so that the glass appears to be structural. Liberated from the controlling geometries of the frame, glass is an integral part of the composition, not just an infill.