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Barrett House

Barrett House
Building Location
Boise, Idaho
South/ Southeast Neighborhood
Ada County
Building Status Private
Year Built
Architectural Style International
Architect
Type
Material

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1208 W. Garfield St. is truly a 7th wonder of the world. With a strong international and post-modern design, the house that sits upon the address is a marvel in and of itself. Mixing stucco and steel, this international style home lacks little upon the aspect of aesthetics. Small yard, simple yet functional, and highly post-modern, this house is exemplary of urban infill or density. Many people stop by the house daily just to look at it from their cars as they drive by. Looking back at them is little Sean Barrett from the large window on the second floor. This window is very showing of the post-modern style because of its large, yet simple style and leaves one with a feeling of vastness and beauty as one looks at the pristine yard out front of the house. Inside locates a whole new perspective. Using minimalism at its finest, the house maintains its international feel. Simply shaped rooms and sparse wall decorations further assures the feel of cleanliness and space. The simplicity and lack of clutter is eminent in the bookshelves pressed back into the wall. Using a built in cement center table, the house is able to maintain its industrial minimalism. The house uses plethora of contrasts between light and dark shifting between lazy reds on the furniture and matte blacks on the concrete table, to calm light browns on the walls. Wooden and tile floors, modern torch-styled lights, and simple cupboards also further the industrial, post-modern, minimalist, international feel. To a degree the aesthetics of this house interfered with its function, hence the sharp walls and corners, slim staircase, and improper closet placement. Such a house disrupts the family environment as well. Because of its openness sound travels very easily and can quickly awaken little ones. A small yard, concrete furniture, and sharp edges add to the single or couple's appeal of the house due to the obvious disadvantages for the house as a family environment. This house is also very cost efficient. Being "better than Energy Star" as the owners of the house would put it, the house saves many dollars on electricity and gas costs for heating and cooling of the home. An interesting thing about the house that also saves energy is its peculiar bleach white roof. The roof is said to be made of a special material and colored the way it is so that it reflects the light and heat from the house, significantly lowering cooling costs during the hot summer months. The northeastern facing windows also play a large role in energy conservation because with southern facing windows, too much light and heat are allowed into the house making it very hot and bright, while northeastern facing windows allow only enough light to keep the house warm during the winter, while maintaining a fairly cool temperature inside the house during the summer. All in all, this house definitely fits its architectural categories because of its "green" nature. Being a juxtaposition to other houses around W. Garfield St. and its neighbor, the house is an oasis in the desert of dry '70s styled, boring homes surrounding it, using old technology and wasting energy. An example of new technology used in the house is the stairway lights, which will automatically turn on when it is twilight outside, using a sensor mounted on the outside of the house. The house definitely uses much more function in the building of the house rather than form, making it very useful and easy to live in. Using minimalism, industrialism, post-modernism, and a plethora of other 'isms (including "greenism"), this house is leading the way of a whole new generation of homes in the Treasure Valley.

Building submitted by Anthony Swanson and Jeff Barlow

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