The goal of this project was to break conventional notions of what we “need” in a house and design for the clients specific lifestyle. KEM STUDIO went through a comprehensive research process to define the parameters of the project, analyze the client’s lifestyle and develop a clear idea for the project.

Madison residence / kem studio
© Mike Sinclair

The big idea centered around three principles. First was to be modern, minimal and sustainable: focus on the experience with volume, light and interactions more than square footage. Second was to emphasize the interaction of the house with the site and hillside: draw from the owner’s rural background and her unconventional, creative interpretations. Third was to be super-efficient: the budget is very modest and the client’s desire is to have very little waste, a high level of sustainability and low maintenance.

Madison residence / kem studio
© Mike Sinclair

The house was built on a narrow lot in Kansas City has a steel facade with reclaimed cypress cladding near the entrance. The entire structure sits atop a steel foundation set on concrete piers that were driven into solid stone.

Madison residence / kem studio
© Mike Sinclair
Madison residence / kem studio
© Mike Sinclair

The design met those goals and responded to our client’s lifestyle as a writer, musician, runner, cinephile and creative spirit. Functionally it translates into a 1,200 square foot, 2 bedroom, 2 bath home on a modest budget.

Project Details:

Location: Kansas City, USA
Type: Residential Houses
Year built: 2013
Area: 1,200 square feet
Architects: KEM Studiowww.kemstudio.com
Collaborators: C&G Construction
Photographs: Mike Sinclair

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Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
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  • Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008
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As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid.
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Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
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