3LP Residence

Iowa City, Iowa
4,725 SF

Phillip Horwitz and Catherine Bradley

Project Team
Yasmine Killeen
Paul Mankins
Kevin Wagner

3LP Residence – Substance Architecture
3LP Residence – Substance Architecture

3LP Residence

This home, built in the 1980s on a wooded, exurban site offered a functional floorplan and tall, day-lit volumes but had become worn, tired, and in need of attention. Many of the interior volumes, while lofty, were subdivided with partitions creating a warren of rooms rather than open, flowing spaces. The owners had lived in the house for eight years before the renovation, allowing them to assess many of the home’s strengths and challenges. They loved the home’s location and setting but wanted a more open interior and a better sense of entry. In addition, they hoped to improve the visual connection to the wooded site and create additional space for entertaining in and around the house. Finally, they desired a more contemporary aesthetic.

Rather than developing a new layout, the Substance Architecture team chose to reinforce and clarify the home’s existing underlying organization. Many of the interior partitions were removed to reveal open “slices” of space running from the front to the rear of the home.

Large, wall-to-wall openings were created at the ends of these “slices” to connect the interior to the surrounding woods and improve the entry experience. The south wall of the garage was realigned to clarify the plan, and finely crafted elements including kitchen cabinets, a loft, a staircase, and an entry closet were inserted into the resulting open volumes. Finally, a limited material palette of oak, steel, and quartz was employed to modernize and visually unify the home inside and out.

New windows and doors connect the interior spaces to the wooded site, as well as provide a more welcoming entry, and the new deck allows the interior to spill out into the woods. The result is a thorough transformation that takes full advantage of the home’s site, interior volume, and daylight to create a modern contemporary home.

3LP Residence – Substance Architecture

Massing diagram

3LP Residence – Substance Architecture

Site plan

3LP Residence – Substance Architecture

Exterior - before

3LP Residence – Substance Architecture

Floor plan - level 1 before

3LP Residence – Substance Architecture

Floor Plan - level 1 after

3LP Residence – Substance Architecture

Floor plan - level 2 before

3LP Residence – Substance Architecture

Floor plan - level 2 after


Structural Engineer
KPFF (formerly Saul Engineering)
General Contractor
McDonough Structures


2019 Honor Award of Excellence
American Institute of Architects - Iowa Chapter
2017 American Architecture Award
Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture, Art and Design
2016 Design Award
Custom Home/Builder


Winter 2020 Iowa Architect
Fall 2018 Iowa Architect
2017 The American House: 100 Contemporary Homes
2017 Global Design + Urbanism XVII
Fall 2016 Custom Home

Photography by Paul Crosby Architectural Photography