The Curtain House, by Johnsen Schmaling Architects, sits on a quiet residential block in Milwaukee’s Lower East Side, tucked between two century-old houses on a narrow and long-vacant lot. Designed for a local couple, the three-story infill residence features flexible living and working spaces centered around an interior courtyard. The street facade, from which the house draws its name, is composed of tightly spaced timber-wrapped aluminum panels that invoke the movement and function of fabric curtains. Offering privacy from the street, the screen shades south-facing rooms from the sun while still allowing natural light to penetrate the interior. “The panels are fixed in place, but there is the illusion that, if the wind were to blow, they might shift,” says firm partner Brian Johnsen. “The undulation changes, depending on where glazing or solid wall panel is. To think through the choreographing of their placement was an interesting exercise in movement.”