Yale’s new display Adjacencies showcases models of Jennifer Bonner’s Haus Gables, an unusual residential project under construction in Atlanta.
A new display at the Yale School of Architecture, Adjacencies uses a multi-media approach to tell the story of assorted strange and tactile projects from 14 emerging firms around the country, and the show highlights a one-of-a-kind, ground-up residential roofing project that’s set to open in Atlanta later this fall. Haus Gables, designed by Jennifer Bonner of MALL, is a single-family residence under construction along the Atlanta Beltline and a playful and astonishing reinvestigation of the architectural zeitgeist using an exaggerated roof plan. The dwelling is broken down in detail at Yale by using a collection of bright models, drawings, and ephemera that unveil her design philosophy for this influenced and unusual building.

According to the architect, the project was inspired by Le Corbusier’s free plan and Adolf Loos’s raumplan — both residential design techniques that called for non-traditional interior spacing. Bonner’s objective was to “rework the spatial paradigms of the past” by arranging her design entirely around the roof. She designed Haus Gables, a 2,100-square-foot structure, with 6 gable roofs that form 1 elongated canopy. The unique shapes of the resulting ceilings developed an interior filled with oddly-sized rooms, catwalks, and double-height areas that are restricted to the steep ridges of the pitched roofs.

The concept for Haus Gables created out of a 2014 program she instructed at Georgia Tech School of Architecture, corresponding to an interview with Curbed Atlanta. Bonner worked with students to picture designs centered around individual architecture components. This particular exercise led Bonner to create her massive Domestic Hats exhibition for Atlanta’s Goat Farm Arts Center, for that she learned Atlanta’s various roof typologies and produced sixteen models with alternative roof types that pushed traditional domestic design.

While Adjacencies offers a behind-the-scenes look at exactly how Bonner specifically developed the Haus Gables project, the real life version is nearly complete on an 18 foot-wide plot of property in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward. Not only is the design itself unusual, but so are the materials specified for the project. Most remarkably, it features a cross-laminated timber (CLT) structure, the second of its type in the United States, as well as prefabricated components that were quickly put together on site over the last year.