Wood Reinvented Competition
The project is developed on a reflection about the characteristics of contemporary living that has its roots in traditional functional criterias, but offers beyond that a particular physical, psychological and visual experience.
One of the first concepts implemented during the creative process corresponds to the predominant visual interplay between one volume and another, from one space to another. The architecture must allow a complete and global reading of the volumetry from the inside while respecting the spatial subdivision between «public space» and «intimate space» necessary for the family. The unifying element that will allow the comprehension of the space as a whole corresponds to the core of circulation, which develops over the whole height of the house. It stands out as main traffic and serving core. It acquires a polarity «North/South» which is defined between «public/private». Nevertheless, this nucleus is not a fixed and non-immutable architectural construction, its limits are porous and facilitate fluid circulation on the ground floor. The visual perception is enhanced from the entrance towards the kitchen – dining room – living room – garden and proposes a poetic continuity between the exterior and the interior, and a privileged relation with the surrounding landscape, connection between natural and artificial.
This brings us to the second concept, which pursues the visual continuity between spaces of human scale as the link of this connectivity. As stated earlier, the interior path is clearly and continuous on the ground floor. The notion of communication from one space to another becomes more complex but remains legible if one engages on the vertical progression of the central nucleus. An intermediate threshold at the first level will allow a first subdivision between half-levels.
The polarity defined in the North corresponds to the exterior terrace, continuity between interior and exterior space. In the South, the interior path will be extended to an additional half-level space above the playground, which will be a sleeping area for children. The interior circulation is designed to generate a dynamic path with the possibility of integrating areas of alternative use, like relaxation or study. There is a perpetual upward elevation. The continuity of the ascension corresponds to the idea that a house without a site must be able to refer to an ever present physical element, the sky as a natural entity forming part of this material construction.
The third concept adds to this specific experience of space, concerning the general volumetry of the house. If the interior is the engine of understanding the architectural design process, the envelope constitutes the visible expression. The body of the house is thus clad in a facade arrangement with a succession of windows that vary in height and elevation. The dynamics of the design give an oscillation between high and low levels allowing a continuous reading of the volume from one façade to another. Thus, the house is perceived as a continuous volume. Nevertheless, ambiguity is present on the South facade, the main entrance. It is characterized by the design of the «roof-façade». The roof is a significant architectural element and also offers habitable space underneath. The exterior design of the volume follows the interior development that characterizes this house.
The materials used for the realization of this house will come among others from the 2016 catalog provided by the company Kronospan.
The first intention is to accomplish a logistical system that can facilitate the on-site assembly of the project. We will cut the four façades of the project into different parts dimensioned according to the proportions of a lorry (2.5m x 12m). These panels will be made of Cross Laminated Timber which is the structure of the house. The assembly on the site will be done with a crane and a team of about 6 workers. We were looking for a way to make the process of building the outer envelope of the house economically viable. The CLT-panels will serve as a support for the wooden strips facing the exterior and a standard OSB Firestop lining to optimize the fire-resistance rating of the house.
Subsequently the interior of the house and especially the central core, as well as the tabletops will be made of Compact 8681 BS Brilliant White. This will highlight the volume in comparison with the rest of the house. The choice of the white color will purify this volume which generates the unifying link between the different spaces.
For the pieces of built-in furniture we propose PB 8681 SU Brilliant White. The furniture as an architectural detail will complement the free space of the house. The choice of white allows the abstraction used within the spaces and to formalize the link with the central core. We want the materiality of the project to reflect the genesis of the architectural concept: a visible wooden structural envelope containing a free space composed of subspaces – visually, but also physically connected by the abstract central core and the furniture.
As previously stated, the volumetry has an important role in understanding the interior space, but also with regard to the technological implementation. The idea of a «roof-facade» makes it possible to draw on the Sun’s energy for the house. Profiting of the Southern orientation and the slope of the roof, we will install a system of vacuum tube solar collectors. These are connected to a central air-conditioning unit with supplementary dynamic heating located in the circulation core right under the roof. The central nucleus or well of light, allows the distribution throughout the house of the solar energy used for hot water for the taps and underfloor heating as well.
The heating system is completed with a passive management of air circulation inside the volume. To make the most of natural ventilation, the shaded area at the main entrance will allow fresh and cool air intake in summer which will be drawn upwards around the central core passively heating up (while cooling the house) and let out on the upper part of the central window. In the same way as a greenhouse, the house is also accompanied by an important planting plan favoring the recycling of air. We can essentially select plants which could purify the air from the inside.