The lantern is a familiar symbol to all cultures and localities. Much as the lantern physically protects the flame and figuratively connects the dark with the bright, the Lantern House employs design strategies that offer protection from the elements while securing personal privacy as well as affording a connection to the natural environment and neighborhood community.
The overall form of the Lantern House assumes the iconic figure of a single family home – two-storied, gable-roofed – one known in any corner of the United States but one of particular familiarity to this Wyandanch neighborhood. This form is expressed not as the typical exterior walls, but rather in a perforated metal veil. Within the mesh mantle, the primary living space sits within a rotated volume, sheared to fit within the veil.
The rotation strategy opens four distinct atria on each corner of the house, each a unique patio space sandwiched between the safety and comfort of the interior and the freedom and connectivity of the outside environment: one with the best morning light; one to capture the last gleaming rays of dusk; one for an entry porch to welcome neighborly passersby; the last a perk for the master bedroom.
The patios connect the home with the natural landscape in which it sits, the veil mimicking the dappled sunlight light of the treetop canopy above during the day and producing a constellation of glimpses revealing the life of the home at night.
The shell and structure are singularly composed by a Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) system, which afford the home high insulation value and simple, prefabricated construction methodology. The Lantern House models itself after Passivhaus design standards, which necessitates high insulation capacity and a low infiltration rate.
The Lantern House is embedded within a landscape indicative of and inspired by the overgrowth of the vacant lot at 54 15th Street. The design utilizes draught-resistant native species and bioswales to control sitewater management in a passive manner.
Within the home, systems employed include solar hot water production, heat recovery ventilation, and ductless mini-split HVAC units.
In all, the Lantern House is a luminary beacon, one that stands on the horizon of a Long Island where sustainable, affordable, and environmentally and socially conscientious design coexist and indeed thrive.