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Water Cut Rainscreen Makes Urban Town House the Talk of the Town

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.

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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.

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