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THE SWITCH | Berlin+Opsal Residence :: Dallas, TX



THE SWITCH

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It’s been awhile since our last update, but it’s been a busy August and September. The roads and bridge are in for Phase II of Kessler Woods and ground breaking should probably happen sometime in mid November. Currently the house plans are in the estimating stage and we should see how we fare in about four more weeks.

One of the largest changes since the last update has been the exterior of the home. We received some preliminary numbers on the Pinstar masonry system that looked like it might put us a bit north of our initial budget. So as a cautionary move, Russ presented us with an alternative option that wraps the exterior of the home in cor-ten steel. It’s a beautiful rusting metal that develops a rich and warm patina that is constantly changing. The floor plan of the home remains unchanged, we just chose a different way to wrap the building.

Cor-ten steel was initially developed as a more affordable and durable solution for building bridges and rail systems in the 50’s and 60’s. It’s maintenance free and since it’s constantly oxidizing it takes on a living, breathing, always changing texture and color.

The most amazing thing about the switch was the way that the home interacts with the land. The Pinstar system and Calwall translucent windows gave the home a light airy exterior feel that worked like a floating Japanese lantern. By simply switching materials the house now sits heavy on the land as if it was pushed up out of the ground or chiseled away from a large mass of earth.

The only down side is we won’t quite live up to our initial concept of eliminating the framing, taping, bedding and drywall trades like we intended. As a budget oriented move, we made the decision to go back to a traditional stick build so we won’t be faced with any unforseen surprises. However we are going to try and stick with minimizing the trades upstairs by continuing to do all the walls as cabinets instead of traditional drywall.

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