This urban town house by Peter Gluck and partners features a gorgeous water cut rainscreen. The attributes of beauty and brains meet in an unmatched way of excellence here. The front façade of the house engages the street with a custom water-cut aluminum rain screen with brick-shaped openings. During the day, it appears as a flat, patterned mass, marked off from the adjacent houses by the tall glass slots on either side. The horizontal joints of the aluminum panels break up the vertical surface as a reference to the rhythm of the window spacing of the row houses.
At dusk, this impression wanes as the glow from the horizontal slit windows and the vertical glass slots animates the street façade. The aluminum appears more as a screen than a mass, and invites the eye toward, but not into, the house. The rear façade is in counterpoint to the front. It is all glass; a full-height, full-width curtain wall that bathes the interior in light. At night, the warm lantern-like light of the interior illuminates the rear garden. Anyone who lives in a rain-drenched part of the country can testify to the toll that Mother Nature can take on a home. Rot, mildew and warped wood are just some of the brutalizing effects of wet weather, forcing home owners to repaint or replace siding on an all-too-regular basis. Essentially, a rain screen gives up on the notion that a home’s exterior should be watertight, and instead opens up a space between the wall and cladding in order to prevent moisture from getting trapped. A builder might use a plastic or glass mesh in the space to offer insulation, while still allowing water to escape. But the idea of water cut rainscreen is absolutely mind blowing.