Flanders House

A mysterious couple, Mr. and Mrs. Flanders, approached me and wanted me to design their home somewhere around Boston. I was delighted at the opportunity, but the couple’s demands were peculiar, to say the least. Both fiercely independent artists with fiery souls, the Flanders argue with each other all the time over their artistic differences. While they want to live under the same roof, they do not want to share living spaces with each other. Because they fear it would erode their individual identities. Hence, the couple gave me the prompt: we don’t want to live together; we want to live in the vicinity of each other.

The conventional home layout of master bedroom and living spaces is based on the traditional model of marriage, which assumes a complete cohabitation between two partners in a relationship. But what if both members in a relationship want some distance between each other, just like the Flanders? Instead of combining basic living spaces such as bedrooms and living rooms together, my project keeps the individual spaces for both partners, and lays them out on a straight line. A 130 ft line with no walls in-between thus forms a linear gradient of privacy along the line. Most-shared programs like kitchen is placed in the middle, while bedrooms are located on each pole of the line. It is a narrow tube of domestic space, where the two partners sleep 130 ft apart from each other. Because of the lack of walls, however, the couple can still catch a glimpse of one another from time to time, maintaining a basic level of visual and aural connection. Despite being in the same building, Mr. and Mrs. Flanders will feel as if they are only living in the same neighborhood, rather than the same house.