Residential Design

Vol 1, 2018

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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"Those trees drove them crazy," says Jill. "But they're in conservation. So, I took those trees and abstracted them, and brought them into the new house. Where they're structural, they're straight; otherwise, we have them leaning and filtering views within the house, just as they filter the views of the bay. I thought, let's make the forest their own." Thus, a source of pain became a pleasure, and a happy ending to that particular story. There are new chapters ahead in the ongoing story of the firm—a variety of handsome custom homes are in the works, juggled with those small transformative renovations, and added to the mix is an exciting foray into affordable housing. In conjunction with the Housing NOW Partnership, the firm entered a local competition to redevelop a property in the community. "The original building the developer had proposed was cruel to anyone who had to look at it or live in it," Jill recalls. "It was time to show up and lean in. And that began a journey for me of attending public hearings and speaking up as an advocate for architecture. We can't subject people to buildings with no internal or external dignity. It's a matter of aesthetic justice." The firm's design was a finalist, but Jill retained the rights to it and is exploring its development into a viable kit of affordable components—for one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and work-space units, plus add-on acces- sory dwelling units. The components could expand the space and scope of the dwelling over time as the owners' needs change, not unlike Jill's Lucky Pines compound, but with less expen- sive panelized construction, perhaps. She's exploring the possibilities with Unity Home's factory-built process. "Working on this has been a nice shift from just doing homes for individuals," she says. Also on tap is a possible expansion of the firm's reach into Vermont. "I just love it up there—I'm really more of a mountains and snow person," she adds. Currently, her office in Falmouth is an 1800s antique barn. It's an open, collaborative working environment of 12 people. "I do everything by hand, and I'm involved in the design of every project and client relationship. It's a friendly but rigorous environment. Still, family and life come first, job comes sec- ond. People have flexibility and freedom to show up for their kids' stuff. I've lived that way, and I want them to be able to do it, too." You can't grab other people's hearts with your work if you don't allow yours to lead from time to time. Says Jill, "A lot of my projects aren't these singular, pure buildings. I look at some aspects of our work, and think, 'that's great, but ugh about that.' Why do my buildings look like they do? I credit it and blame it on my Wisconsin connection to these modest, soulful second homes." —S. Claire Conroy Top and above left: Jill's own house, on a 4.5-acre site overlooking a pond, is a laboratory for her evolving ideas about design. Her "glamp" structures are part tent, part cabin, and all immersion in the natural landscape. Above right: Jill is exploring a kit of parts for much-needed affordable housing. Photo: Charles Mayer Rendering: Jill Neubauer Architects Photo: Meredith Hunnibell 17 VOL. 1, 2018 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM

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