At its core, the dwelling is our most elemental and ubiquitous architecture.

Likely the first architecture that humans built to shelter ourselves from the elements, the home remains the architecture that we most strongly affiliate with. It is central to who we are, where we choose to ground ourselves, how we protect ourselves, what we surround ourselves with to support our daily needs and rituals, and how we project ourselves outward to the world beyond. The home is at once our most generic architecture and the architecture that touches us most deeply, making it a fertile and compelling part of our work.

Our process for Loblolly House, a waterfront home in the Chesapeake Bay, interrogated the way we build houses. Typical house elements were distilled to essential parts, which were built in a factory and assembled efficiently on site. © Halkin Mason Photography

The architecture of the home is the wellspring for much of what we do at KieranTimberlake. It is central to how our firm began, and it remains central to where we are going. The home is not only the first work we were able to get but also the work that continues to afford us a platform to explore and evolve the whole of our architecture into ever-expanding realms of ethical inquiry.


With the broadest definition of sustainability as our overarching goal, we continue to explore and advance three pervasive streams of inquiry through the lens of the home: beauty, affordability, and the environment. All weave together in ways that cut to the very core of sustainability.  
Without beauty and union with place, no architecture is sustainable because no one will value it and desire to keep and care for it. Without affordable cost, the capacity of individual families to own or even rent a home is impossible to bear. Without concern for environmental impacts, there will be no viable environments left to inhabit. We see all three aspects of sustainability as deeply intertwined, each realm giving rise to solutions in the others.

High Horse Ranch used building techniques that touched the site lightly and reduced construction waste. Off-site construction meant that modules could be could be carefully set in place without harming a single tree. © Tim Griffith

The home is the place where we have consistently explored and advanced our vision for a fully sustainable future. It is the place where ideas that make their way into larger scale and more complex structures begin. 


Across a spectrum of dwellings worldwide, we bring the same ethic of sustainability in all its forms. Replacement housing in the post-hurricane Katrina Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans; a flexible housing system for the emerging middle class in India; and improvements to the pervasive vernacular Ger housing in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia are just as important to us as our widely acclaimed dwellings in Maryland, New York State, California, at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and most recently, in our OpenHome collaboration.  

Located just outside of Ulaanbaatar, the "Ger Ranch" is made up of six experimental Mongolian gers, or nomadic dwellings, that each test low-cost prototypes for their impact on coal consumption, thermal comfort, and indoor air quality.

All our house projects explore new ground at the leading edge of environmental performance. All pursue ways to enhance the productivity and lower the cost and duration of design and construction. And all emerge from their places in ways that possess a deeply rooted beauty, born of the broad ethical commitments each dwelling seeks to include.