Hexad (“a set of six”) is a caretaker’s house for a private estate in a sculpture garden.

  • Type House,
  • Location Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Area 832 sq ft
  • Status Concept
  • Date 2023

Where the main house on the property follows a neo-Palladian model of distinct circulation axes organizing programmed areas, Hexad programs the axes themselves. The 832 s.f. building separates the basic functions of home (Living, Eating, Bathing, and Sleeping) into four 160 s.f. wings oriented to the cardinal points as established by the existing site plan – a miniaturized Jeffersonian Grid. The remaining two axes – up and down – provide supplementary spaces for Viewing the property (the tower) and Dreaming (a lower level with a view to the sky through the tower).

Each wing follows a singular functional logic: Living has a suspended fireplace and a folding sofa, Eating is a walk-through pantry kitchen with a sun lit dining area, Bathing has an enclosed WC with a large open tub, and Sleeping has a Murphy-bed and storage. Both sleeping and bathing areas may be closed with large pivot doors.

  • Share on Google+

Arial photograph of gridded property; the mathematics of the Jefferson Grid.

Inhabiting the grid

This project enacts an architecture born of the Jefferson Grid. Whereas Jefferson’s delineation of the grid was a finite cognitive act, the operative fact of the grid continues to dominate the process of inhabitation. In regions devoid of extreme topography, position supersedes place as the locus of inhabitation. The lines of the grid are the infrastructure of settlement. Over time, the virtual lines drawn on the map and staked-out across the land accrue actual physical boundaries. Roads are paved along the section lines, shelterbelts are planted between quarter-sections, and buildings are near to the edges. What would an architecture look like if designed using this Cartesian logic, not simply located within it, an architecture constructed of axes themselves without a spatial mass? How does one inhabit this world where the virtual and the actual coexist? Hexad (“a set of six”) attempts to do this through a marriage of pure form and circumstance.

Site Plan aerial

The central-plan: Hexad treats program as a Cartesian system of functions, each with a specific orientation to a unique site - pure like Kazimir Malevich’s Black Cross yet contingent and psycho-active as Bruce Nauman’s Room with My Soul Left Out, Room that Does Not Care.

The building takes the shape of a Tetrahemihexacron, geometric figure composed of 3 intersecting prisms, oriented to the cardinal grid.

The four horizontal wings comprise split 40’ shipping containers (each wing is 20’ long) while the tower is formed from a 20’ container resting on the stiffened corners of the wings. Powder-coated steel bar grating floors in the center and in the tower allow light to penetrate all levels.

Eating <--> Living


Up <--> Down

Sleeping <--> Bathing

Section perspective

Hexad is painted in a yellow similar Thomas Jefferson's dining room at Monticello, and in reference to contemporary safety yellow.

Project Awards

2016 AIA Nebraska Merit Award for Unbuilt Architecture

2019 AIA Central States Region Distinguished Award-Unbuilt

Photography By model photographs: Larry Gawel
Scroll to Top