Hinge House

Hinge House is a fully customizable, next-generation “prefab” home, which can be configured to meet the needs of any site and any family. The house is flexible and expandable, and based on prefabricated building components. Starting with two basic floor plans of living space—one of public shared functions and one of bedrooms—the living spaces are rotated around a “hinge” point.  Unlike a static, linear floor plan, this pivot allows the house to adapt to sites with different elevations and orientations. It is a design solution that takes advantage of prefabrication yet is able to address the limitations and challenges of a particular site, while highlighting the best aspects of it.

Hinge House allows for passive solar orientation, and features a southern exposure in Northern climates (more sun), a northern exposure in Southern climates (more shade), depending on where the home is placed on the site. It also provides for maximum cross-ventilation from prevailing winds, preserves existing rocks and trees, and works on sloping grades. It addresses specific desired views while mitigating unwanted adjacencies, and provides great flexibility for entry sequences.  

Hinge House uses Empyrean’s standard sloped roof “kit of parts,” to create a lyrical, wonderful home. The exterior form, made of cedar skin, is sculptural and dynamic, and interior spaces are soaring, lofty, and light-filled – quite unlike anything in the current prefab space. The “hinge” of the home, where the two living spaces come together, has the added benefit of creating a highly desirable outdoor living room, complete with an outdoor fireplace. The “hinge” is not just a tool for maximizing customization and spatial orientation; it is a fulcrum of activity at the heart of the home.