House M consists of five bedrooms, living areas, an action court and a sukkah. It was inspired by Le Corbusier’s Maison Blanche, which he built for his parents in 1912. It makes use of modernist archetypes combined with traditional elements and was built around the needs of an Orthodox Jewish family. This includes the necessity for two kitchens, the creation of a sukkah (a booth in which a practicing Jew spends part of the festival, Sukkot) and a pedestrian infrastructure to support the tradition of not being allowed to drive on a Saturday. Local Studio met the client through working on an addition nearby for another family – the two clients were friends.
The largest obstacles to overcome resulted from the house sitting on a South-facing slope, but these were overcome adequately. The site is longitudinal, facing North, with the street entrance at the North and the house placed towards the back of the site to allow natural light to all rooms. The resultant large front garden was designed as a small park, with structured terraces housing various recreational activities, including an action court and a sukkah. The house itself is arranged around the rituals of the family, who value coming together in communal spaces, which are located throughout the house.
The project had various iterations due to budget issues, however the eventual construction process ran very smoothly, with the majority of rooms experiencing great thermal comfort.