Iteration #1 FORTRESS

My process for iterations is not to create a set scheme.  The idea for me, is to play around with ideas, how certain strategies might work, site placement, and a rough idea for square footage.  The site for the ECO-AMPLEXUS presents a lot of nice things; water, hills, and privacy.  My goal for these iterations is to treat each one a little different and unique, and try to infuse different styles and ideas together to get an idea of what may work best for the site, my goals, and the clients needs.

I knew I wanted to at least present the idea of an earth sheltered dwelling.  The bad part about the site is that the hill is a north facing slope.  It would be typical to dig the house into the side of a south facing slope, open up the front for sunlight and solar energy.  In this case, I am still burying the structure to get the thermal advantage.  What I am attempting to do, is to introduce light from the south by ways of the skylights and light wells.  With the help of a material like concrete or stone, I could absorb the solar energy and transfer it to where I would feel the space would need it.   Keeping the windows to a minimum on the north side allows me to retain as much energy as possible.  

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My goal was to create a funnel entrance.  As you walk up the steps and go into the earth, I would imagine it to feel a bit dark, because I would want the space to be flooded with light when you actually entered to create a very special connection with the architecture.  The rest of the plan is just a play off of geometry sliding around to arrange the spaces from private to public.  I like the difference from plan to elevation.  I see a lot of opportunity in the arrangement and things being able to be opened up.

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This has some good things about it.  I feel that the lack of light and solar gain could effect the space in the winter.  I think this would fair better off in the summer when it would regulate its temperature more consistently without the need for much cooling.  Prevailing winds come from the west, so I think that this could be another chance to do some type of passive cooling, the problem would be how to work it into this brutal shell without looking terrible.