Contemporary Kansas Home with Wood Slatted Exterior Screen
By Olivia Martin / Published by Dwell

Contemporary architecture in Lawrence, Kansas, is an anomaly. “On one of my earlier projects, I got the middle finger from passersby while constructing a flat roof,” says architect Dan Rockhill. As a result, Rockhill eagerly accepted a rare request for a modern home from a local family, even though they had just $214,000 to spend on design and construction.

Photo by: Dan Rockhill

Photo by: Dan Rockhill

Photo by: Dan Rockhill

Photo by: Dan Rockhill

Rockhill’s first move was to remedy the site’s two drawbacks—a steep slope and street noise—in one swoop by placing the bulk of the 1,500-square-foot home on the second level and tucking an additional bedroom, bathroom, and carport underneath. But, his biggest flourish was a slatted exterior screen of Cumaru wood that shields the inexpensive metal siding. Although the South American hardwood was a splurge, Rockhill felt its visual impact and overall durability was worth it: “On smaller projects you are lucky to be able to make two big gestures, so you’d better make them good,” he says.

Project: Screen House
Architect: Dan Rockhill

Olivia Martin


Olivia Martin is the managing editor at Dwell. Growing up in a 1905 Victorian fostered her love of architecture, design, and unpredictable floorboards. Aside from organizing articles flying around the Dwell office, she can be found wandering in vintage clothing stores or coercing her roommate into various decorating schemes for their apartment.

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