Rubix House

Rubix House

Jones, Partners: Architecture


  • Square Footage: 1,950
  • Levels: 3
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 2
  • Garage: one-car
  • Office: Yes
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Ever wonder as a kid what the inside of your Rubik's Cube looked like? Who knew there could be so much packed inside a discreet little cube...

The Rubix house’s straightforward, elemental design balances rich spatial experience with construction simplicity on three levels in a tight, highly efficient package with an ultra-small footprint. The house’s compact foundation allows it go to anywhere: as urban infill, on a large lot to maximize greenspace, or as a granny flat behind your larger home. This is a house for active engagement—moving, sliding, perching and more. Sliding glass doors keep no secrets from little birds, as the complexity inside the structure interacts with the world outside.

The Rubix design interchanges open and closed areas, single- and double-height spaces, solid and glazed walls, and public and private programs in a regular foursquare organization. It's a simple design, but the Rubix House is an example of modernity at its best. - ShelterPopThrough this spatial strategy, the zoning and diversity expected in a much larger house are achieved. This is expressed on the exterior with a similarly dynamic alternation of glass and corrugated metal panels, systematized by quadrant with consistent, cost-saving details, to give the house a varied texture and visual complexity belying its simple cubic volume.

Visitors enter the Rubix at the bottom level, into a living area that runs the length of the house from front to back with a full wall of sliding glass doors at either end. The tandem garage runs alongside the living area at this level, and features space-saving rolling overhead doors at either end, allowing for drive-thru parking or a shop looking out onto the back. Through a panelized section of the wall that includes an integral coat closet, the living area gives convenient access to the garage.

The house opens up vertically from the living area into a series of dramatic double-height spaces that spiral around the perimeter providing light and views at each subsequent level. At the second, or middle level, a dining platform serves as a connection between the most public and more private realms, looking down into the living area and up to the family area above. The dining room is flanked by an open kitchen (tucked under the open family room above), featuring a continuous counter and cabinet arrangement that makes serving a snap. At the uppermost level, the family area platform looks down over the dining platform; this is the most private level, with two bedrooms and shared bathroom, as well as the open family area. An artfully detailed steel stair system connects all the levels, reinforcing the sense of living in the trees established by walls of sliding glass doors that grace each level on alternating sides of the house, and provide views out to the yard at tree level.

Potential modifications include integral rolling overhead security doors, useful when the Rubix House is used primarily for vacations and may be unoccupied for stretches of time.

Rubix is designed by California dreamer Wes Jones, of Jones, Partners: Architecture, who has said that through his work he’s “building a vernacular for a world that does not yet exist.” Jones is exploring the next iteration of the house as machine, tweaking Corbusier’s maxim that a house is a “machine for living” and introducing the “machine-a-habiter”, loosely translated as “machine for dwelling.” This academic, practitioner, and coast-dweller packs a lot of theory as well as a lot of function into a small package, employing technology in the service of comfort and ease of living.



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