I have long admired the Cossitt Cottages, a row of 4 simple houses built by San Diego’s first modern architect, Irving J Gill, in 1910 (first image). They are essentially the same cube house repeated 4 times (second image). A kit of parts consisting of arches, garden walls, and a small roof, is applied to each house in a different way. As the houses step back from the street they get another arch. Each house is a little different and feels unique. This is a very simple but powerful way of differentiating similar houses without resorting to applied surface decoration.
I combined my interest in the Cottages with 3D printing to make a set of Gill/Cossitt Cottages building blocks (third image). The blocks let you “build” each of the 4 cottages (fourth image) and illustrate the “kit of parts” approach (fifth image). I made a prototype set of the blocks and the instructions/history page, all fitting in a clear plastic box. When folded in the box, the instruction sheet becomes the label for the set .
This set is one of the initial projects I have undertaken with the Irving J Gill Foundation. We hope to have it available soon.