It’s not unusual for New Yorkers to have problems with their neighbors; after all, many a co-op brawl has started over a little late-night noise. But it is rare for the downtown crowd to have a beef with a pack of rowdy beavers—which is exactly the situation in which architect Lynn Gaffney and her husband, financial portfolio manager Bill Backus, found themselves recently at their weekend home in the tiny town of Sharon, Connecticut (population: 2,968). The beavers, who reside in the swamp behind Backus and Gaffney’s house, generally keep a low profile, but every so often let loose with a torrent of logs and sticks that block all the nearby drainage pipes, making a watery mess of local roads and forcing residents to haul away the detritus. The double-height living area features unfinished plywood cladding. Photo by Raimund Koch.
To shield an addition and new courtyard for a bungalow in greater Melbourne, architect Anthony Clarke fitted its facade with strips of rough-sawn Victorian ash. The addition is clad in grooved painted plywood and the new deck is made from blackbutt wood, the sort used for wharves. Photo by Peter Bennetts.
Inspired by tansu chests and raw materials that show patina, a pair of Sydney-based architects renovated their own home—slowly. Tom’s compact bedroom feels much larger thanks to interlocking shelves and storage. The plywood bed and surrounding shelving were custom-built by Wilkin and a hired carpenter.
The McKenzie residence sits within the grid of a commercial apple orchard, its roof and upper parts floating above the trees to echo the surrounding hills. Although its steel cladding is suggestive of a barn, inside it is anything but. The kitchen is small but utilizes all available space—even allowing room for a hat or two. Photo by Patrick Reynolds.
A Tokyo architect’s shape-shifting apartment takes a holistic approach to live/work style. Shibata made the 10-person dining table using $130 sawhorse legs from Maruki Wood Products Company topped with a sheet of birch plywood. A hole in the sliding wall fits over the table, enabling it to be used in both the library and the meeting room. A movable wall clad in wainscoting on one side slides along tracks in the dining-room ceiling, dividing the room into a meeting space and a library. Photo by Ryohei Hamada.