Offset House

Hidden within every suburban house is a great work of architecture. Look beneath shallow eaves and brick veneer, behind ornate porticos, skirting boards, cornices, and drywall, and you’ll find Modernism’s most successful and longest-running project. Invented and industrialised in 19th Century Chicago, balloon-frame timber construction made individual housing simple, fast and widely accessible. Basic variants of this system remain in use around the world. Seen silhouetted against the sky, before cladding is applied and fences erected, the naked timber frame is a thing of elemental beauty, a lacework diagram of infinite potential. Simply put, the frame is architecture.