A Bold Home Creatively Combines Curves and Modern Lines

This curvaceous Missouri home, which we first spotlighted in 2012 for its sunken outdoor fire pit, grew from plans for a pool house. We revisit several more homes that have graced the pages of Dwell in our 15th anniversary issue, on newsstands now.
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When Hufft Projects signed on to design a new backyard pool and cabana for a suburban home in Springfield, Missouri, the clients loved the early plans so much, they decided to relocate to a nearby subdivision and have Hufft devise a brand new home from scratch.

The project was dubbed the Curved House because one of the main requests from the client was the integration of curved lines throughout the project. Outside, the most notable example of this is the exterior brick wall that emerges from the sharply linear ironwood walls in soft waves. The roof is also made of a curved Spanish tile punctuated by an extensive, angular solar array.

The goal was simple—to create a relaxing, secluded oasis for the family that would feel modern but also friendly and welcoming. Sustainability was also a main priority for the project; FSC-certified wood, locally sourced materials, energy efficient lights, a large solar array, and geothermal heating and cooling systems all ensure the house maintains a small environmental footprint. An abundance of windows throughout the home also help minimize energy costs. "The house has lots of glass throughout, and skylights where there’s not access to windows," architect Matthew Hufft explains. "So during the day—even a dark overcast day—you don’t have to turn on a single light to get anywhere in the house."

The firm chose Endicott brick for the curved elements of the exterior, a natural material with a glossy effect that creates the illusion of changing colors and animated movement. The dark grey contrasts boldly with the earthy brown tones of the durable ipe wood used for the exterior walls.

The scheme is a thoughtful orchestration of dark earthy colors, modern, straight lines and soft curves—the latter, one of the few design requests from the matriarch of the family. While the clients had input on many decisions throughout the process, the look of the rest of the indoor and outdoor spaces was devised entirely by Hufft. It was one of the first projects that the firm was called on to craft the majority of the furniture and other custom features—a challenge co-founder Jesse Hufft says was exciting new territory for the firm. "The clients wanted to move in with their clothing only, so we outfitted everything," she says. "It was really interesting to look at the whole project from a holistic standpoint." Items like the courtyard fire pit, dining room table, entry gate, entertainment center, and master bed are examples of their prowess in this endeavor.

An interior glass courtyard anchors the central living areas—the dining room, foyer, living room, and kitchen all circulate a living tree. This was installed for natural light and to reinforce a connection between the indoors and outdoors.

Architect Matthew Hufft will discuss the Curved House, along with other projects, on a CEU-accredited panel, "The Intersection of Architecture and Furniture Design," at Dwell on Design New York at 1:30 p.m. on October 2nd. 

Adjacent to the internal courtyard, the long galley kitchen blends a mixture of dark materials and colors. The appliances are mostly concealed into the walls to create a clean, uncluttered atmosphere. The table was custom-made by Hufft.

A brick fireplace feature creates a low window from the kitchen into the living room to keep a connection between the rooms without relying on a completely open floor plan. Energy-efficient MR16 halogen lights are recessed into the wood ceiling to further emphasize the clean lines throughout the interior spaces.

In the living room, several art installations add flair, including one special addition from Anne Lindberg, an artist known for understated line drawings. Strands of welding wire with tiny sculpted wood ends were drilled into the wall near the piano so they would stick out and move with breezes from the courtyard. Its cascading lines contrast directly with the curvilinear, soft pink Swarovski crystal chandelier by Tord Boontje.

In the courtyard, a tension-edge pool creates a seamless, resort-like atmosphere. Hufft took care to make sure the pool looked beautiful so that it could be admired during the six months out of the year that it wouldn’t be used by the family due to cold weather.

Hufft also fabricated a custom fire pit for the space, which we examined in-depth in 2012. Bent aluminum plates bear upholstered cushion seats with backs. The edges, once again, are curved.

The pool house stands separate and adjacent to the main home. It is outfitted with a bar area, small living room, and one bedroom with foldable Murphy bed.

The back courtyard is meant to feel like a haven from the outside world; a place where the family can easily escape the stresses of everyday life. The flickering lights from the fire pit shed a soft, relaxing glow over the area.


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