Hairpin House

Hairpin House looks to the undulations of a hairpin turning mountain road as organizational and spatial device within a constrained 19th century domestic interior.

Situated within a formerly working class neighborhood and measuring only fifteen feet in interior width, the rowhouse was characterized by a barbell plan with the interior third occupied entirely with vertical circulation, leading to a condition of all rooms being identically sized. In order to overcome this programmatic constraint, the stair was reconceived as a malleable topography, unspooled and draped across a newly optimized programmatic stack of varying dimensions.

As the hairpin stair cascades obliquely through the four-story rowhouse, it carves out a connective forty foot atrium within which this misbehaving element continuously reconfigures itself – from straight treads to winders, from solid to open balusters and back again – producing a sculptural figure and vertiginous space within a highly constrained site.

Location: Boston, MA
Client: Undisclosed
Year: 2019–2022
Type: Residential
Size: 2,120 SF
Status: Built

Team: Figure x Studio J.Jih (Design Architects), Studio J.Jih (Executive Architect), Team Engineering (Structural Engineer), Evergreen Group Company, Inc. (Contractor), and Boston Stairworks (Stair Millwork)

Press: AN Interior Fall/Winter 2022