Getting a grip on the surroundings:
After an initial study of the surroundings, several ways of tackling this project have been bouncing up and down in my head. I won’t go through all the urban analysis of the area, suffice to say that taking into account the general characteristics (building regulations, urban tissue, the relation between buildings and their respective lots) and specific characteristics (how much sun do I get and from where? how much privacy? what role does vegetation play?) I was able to identify some “core variables” around which I could start working.
The site is a corner site. This must be reflected in the construction.
I can’t directly attack the corner due to the constraint pushed by the general characteristic mentioned above – the relation between buildings and their respective lots – they all are free-standing separate objects.
Sunlight. The south is blocked by high-rise (10 stories) buildings. I must get the most out of what reaches the site while still offering a decent level of privacy (imagine 20 apartments looking down into your house).
The program was a classical single-family home (living room, kitchen, dining, 3 bedrooms, study/library, garage). I also wanted to open up the spaces inside towards the garden and the trees (which act as a natural privacy shield) surrounding the lot.
Air must come in and then out (get as much natural ventilation as possible).
Porosity sprang to mind. What if I can create a living, adaptive porous block that acts as a retreat and yet still opens up to let in fresh air, sunlight, perspective and, most important, a family? I investigated a little bit of fractals, went through to fractal architecture and, most important early-on in the design process, (Steven Holl‘s) porosity architecture.
Initial concept (working towards porosity): *note: this is not how the final project looks like. the img below is just a concept sketch.
So, all talk and no scripts? Wait, no!
More to come in the next post. I promise you adaptive (in relation to an attractor/point) porosity on a given surface and a massive unroll script.
‘Script written by Dimitrie Stefanescu
‘Released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0