The Dual House is a new duplex for two related families, with an emphasis on balancing shared and personal spaces. While appearing to be a single building, two structures are placed back-to-back allowing for private garden entries and a communal roof deck. The garages, bedrooms, and entry are incorporated on the lower level, with a convertible bedroom/office having direct access to the garden. On the second floor, the directional emphasis shifts to the long alley, highlighting the stairs, views, and available light for the main living spaces along this façade. Tucked behind this public space are the master bedroom and bath.
The suspended steel stairs are a focal point for both inside and out. The animated movement along the stairs is heightened with each step as the path bends and widens leading to the collective open space on the roof deck. The combined kitchen and dining space is approached in a novel way with a built-in banquette and a custom table that seats 12, which easily converts into a kitchen island for more counter space. Spaces are revealed in unexpected glimpses as the visitor moves through the building.
The roof garden is visible through a high, horizontal slit window in the living room. The master bath and kitchen share a window of frosted glass that capitalizes on borrowed light and provides playful silhouettes. While nearly identical units, the kitchens became the best opportunity to express each owner’s different personality and taste.