Once the schematic design was done, I really had to start fine tuning my systems, materials, and square footage. Milestone #5 should clarify my concepts of layout, form, and function.
First and foremost, I had about 500 SF excess space compared to my program outline and goals that I had developed. I really needed to pull myself back, and ask what it was I was trying to do, and did my design coordinate with my philosophy? I feel that is often to easy to get caught up in an intuitive design process where you design what you want rather than design what is appropriate. To me, it is similar to the idea of self, and losing one's self. I don't expect many of my readers will totally grasp this concept, but I need to talk about my process. Losing "self", is like forcing an out of body perspective. I am pretending that I have no previously conceived ideas about the project, What is the ECO_AMPLEXUS all about? Well, I am going to try and clear that up, because I felt for a little while, that I have gotten lost within the idea of the design.
The process for this design is completely different from designing a typical house without any regards to nature, or having any goal in mind. This house's primary job is to function as a comfortable living space; but the whole concept of the ECO-AMPLEXUS is to operate as a machine. The house has to work as efficiently as possible which makes this design process difficult. The question becomes....How can I make this Beautiful but still work? This was my design solution. I took the previous schematic iteration and started to fit into my own "ideas". This home consists of three parts: Private Space, Expansion Space, and Sacred Space. All have to be separate but at the same time joined together. There needs to be a space that is the hierarchy of the entire structure that blends all of the spaces together. This becomes the Expansion Space. The private space must be connected but only at the convenience of the visitor, or inhabitant. The sacred space must be small, quaint, and personal. All three must exist separate, but in unity.
I thought that a good way to put function to form was to build a physical model. I only built a few models during my time at Fairmont, but it is really an enjoyable process, as well as a good way to see things that you just can't see with computer models. This was a way to take the schematics from my most recent iteration and evolve it through this model. It ultimately led me to the even further evolution which you will see at the end of this blog post.
The main purpose of the model build was to really explore the tectonics of the structure. One of my primary goals was that this could be built rather quickly. I tried to think of everything as a component, or a prefabricated puzzle that would be pieced together in a matter of days, rather than weeks. I also want to let the architectural composition speak for itself. I want the inhabitant, and visitors, to be able to see how the house is constructed. The concept drives the form, the form is created by the material, and the material conveys the concepts. This cycle is what embodies good architecture.
The next blog I am going to go in depth with my ideas about the systems and how I will be taking advantage of passive cooling/heating, airflow, radiant floor heating, geothermal heat, water harvesting, grey water recycling, etc. Now that I have given some insight to my material choice, I will be looking for any and all suggestions to fine tune and tweak everything as a whole. I am currently in the process of experimenting with the garden layout, and my entrance sequence.