Status: Project (2012)
Types: Housing, Residential
Se trata de una vivienda industrializada capaz de adaptarse a distintas orientaciones, parcelas y necesidades de organización interior. Se venderá por catálogo a través de la promotora australiana TRACE.
When approaching the task of designing a house without a specific client with specific needs, and even more, without having a specific place and orientation, a ‘generic house’ seems to be the appropriate response. The formal whims seem to take second place. An architectural system capable of giving any answer is more important than anything else. We propose an interconnecting modular system developed mainly in the horizontal plane. Starting from a grid of 60x60cm, we developed a module we can use as an aggregation unit that has an appropriate size to accommodate either a car or a master bedroom.
We connect 12 modules of 6.0mx4.20m with a ceiling height of 2.7m, occupying most of the standard lot but leaving enough space to the boundary setbacks to adapt to narrower lots. Our aim is to create, through this modular logic, a form that works in any orientation. This brings us to a symmetrical, porous shell that plays with the separation between the modules to create semi internal courtyard spaces. The intention is not that ‘it can change depending on the orientation’, but ‘it works with any orientation’.
The courtyards with differing attributes insure the presence of direct or diffuse daylight in any room, and diagonal views across these courtyard spaces make the house rich and deep. This approach also provides plenty of cross ventilation to internal spaces.
The walls that surround the four smaller courtyards have their openings diagonally opposite in order to maintain the privacy of the spaces directly across the courtyard.
However, depending on the orientation and the program, the client can decide where to place what. The size of each module is designed to accommodate any function.
This makes the house flexible and adaptable to future changes, such as family/program changes. We only propose that the fixed elements including the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry and walk-in pantry have to be left in the designated location.
There are two modules toward the street that can be used as garages…or not. In some cases, depending on illumination and communication conditions, it may be preferable to utilize these spaces for other functions, such as bedrooms or studios, leaving the car outside. We have 12 modules of 25m2, which makes 300m2. Or 12+2 modules that make a 250m2 house with two garages of 6.0mx4.2m.
We like to think about the bathrooms as a ‘room where the bath is’ or a ‘water room where I feel well’ more than like a ‘space we have to hide’. We have 2 bathrooms in the ground floor that can be used simultaneously by different people. The basins, as their use is more ‘public’, are in the open area, bringing use to a space that otherwise would be just a kind of connecting corridor. The access to the shower-bath and to the toilet is independent, and they are divided by a thin closet. The bath is built-in with steps in front, making it possible to rest on the steps as you would in a sauna.
The only walls of the house would be the exterior ones, dividing the spaces and – as required- using doors and floor-to-ceiling closets or furniture pieces, making obvious that the divisions are something that can be changed.
The dimension of the module makes possible to build the whole project using timber frame structure, without requiring steel. The span of 4,2m will allow us to have beams with a relatively shallow section.
We include 4 plans to demonstrate different client and orientation hypothesis.
THE ELIGIBLE BACHELOR
This option concentrates the more personal area in the rear of the house. The master suite occupies 4 modules connecting with the pool area. The bed is upstairs with the bathroom directly underneath. The bathroom connects the client with a grand walk-in closet, the exterior pool area and a study/reading corner which catches the afternoon sunlight.
Around the central patio, we find the dining room and the living room, as well as the fireplace, with plenty of sunlight. In the other side, there is the kitchen and the pantry, closer to the shadow of the neighbor’s house. We can use the interior courtyard as an outdoor dining due to its proximity to the kitchen.
The other bathroom serves the living room and the guest bedroom we have upstairs. In this case, both of the street orientated modules are occupied by cars.
COUPLE WITH TWO CHILDREN SHARING BEDROOM
The children share their room, which is in the back of the house, with a closet dividing their bed spaces. They share a bathroom and a large study, with afternoon light close to the pool. Upstairs, above the bathroom, we have a guestroom. Once they grow up, this situation can change. For example the shared study space could become a second bedroom with sufficient space for wardrobes and desks. The other bathroom serves the kitchen and the dining room, as well as the master bedroom, which is upstairs.
The living and the dining room switch their position from the previous case, in order to receive more light.
COUPLE WITH THREE CHILDREN EACH WITH THEIR OWN BEDROOM
In this case, we concentrate the children program in the back part again. We have two bedrooms in the ground floor and one more upstairs. All the courtyards are oriented to north so the light will penetrate almost every space. The master bedroom is above the other bathroom. All the rest works with the same logic of the previous examples. This hypothesis could work with a grandmother living in the ground floor instead of a third son, for example.
TWO APARTMENTS THAT SHARE COMMON SPACES
It could be two friends sharing the house, or, perhaps more realistically, a couple with a grown-up son which still lives with them. The central core – the largest courtyard, the kitchen-pantry-laundry and the living-dining – is shared.
Then, the front of the house is one apartment, with a bedroom and walk-in closet upstairs and a bathroom and a study/little living in the ground floor. The other ‘apartment’ is in the back side of the house, with an extra large walk-in closet and a study/little living with views to the pool. In the middle there is the bathroom and over it, the other bedroom.