The 7 Schemes
This week we are working to narrow down our seven exploratory schemes to four primary ones. After meeting last week with Pete Landon, John Peterson, and Marion McElroy, we have been challenged to shift our mode of thinking away from a simple comparison of plans, sections, and elevations and toward a consideration of the big ideas at play among the seven schemes. Our criteria, which we have been developing this week, include the following questions: Is the big idea different from what has been tried in the past? Is the big idea feasible? Does the big idea bring about spatial delight? We are also asking questions about outdoor spaces and porches, multiple site orientations, potential for a slab-on-grade foundation, the efficiency of the plan, and 20K/Product line identity. We have been evaluating the schemes below to see where the opportunities lie for each.
A scheme derived from precedents such as Dave’s, Frank’s, and Elizabeth’s houses, the Long Bar has proven to be a worthwhile pursuit since it is easily covered with a single gabled roof and since the length of the house allows for separated bedrooms and living spaces. We think this arrangement of divided spaces may provide the privacy needed in a multi-person dwelling.
Developed in the Frankenstein process—when we took pieces from existing houses and reassembled them into new forms—from a Glenn Murcutt home, Big Mac eventually took its name from its clear resemblance to Mac’s House, a previous 20K from 2009. This scheme, with an inset porch that spills into the landscape and complex spatial adjacencies in the living areas, has helped keep Big Mac in the conversation for several weeks.
Unanimously, the studio sees plenty of potential in the Sliding Bar scheme. The bars initially suggested a divided diagram of daytime/public spaces and nighttime/private spaces. But at the moment it has achieved a more complex interior space with a living program that stretches across the two bars instead of along one bar.
A more troublesome scheme, the L has been the instigator of many a headache among us since its inception. An L-shaped house implies interaction with the landscape in a way that previous 20K’s haven’t addressed. One opportunity, we see is the chance to create a yard or courtyard. But is this typically urban form appropriate in a rural setting?
A later addition to our set of schemes, the T was inspired by Michelle’s House, a previous RS house made up of a central living core flanked by bedrooms to the east and west. In theory, that allows indefinite expansion to meet the needs of a growing family or as Andrew says, “You could keep building bedrooms to Mississippi”. The T boasts one of the most open living spaces so far and suggests a hierarchy of outdoor living spaces.
Inspired by a small home designed by Jean Pouvré, the Hub questions the placement of a solid acoustic and visual barrier (read as: walls) in the middle of the home. Instead of dividing the rooms up, the spaces flow into the one another around a central hub, or box, in the center of the space. What’s inside this hub, you may ask? Well, we’ve been asking ourselves the same question. So far it has been a bathroom, a tornado saferoom, a pantry, a laundry room, and part of the kitchen. The studio is, however, convinced that the spaces the hub creates are worth exploring further.
Eddie <3 Joanne:
A blending of Eddie’s and Joanne’s houses, completed last semester and Spring 2010 respectively, Eddie Loves Joanne is an obvious product of the Frankenstein process. The basic layout of the program borrows elements from the interior of Eddie’s house, but the perimeter is inspired by Joanne’s and includes her beautiful corner porch. Though there has been debate over whether or not Eddie Loves Joanne has the “magic” to make the cut, there’s no disputing that the plan is fairly well resolved for only a few weeks of work.
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