The house is a project of architecture that can adjust and changing needs and patterns both social and technological to avoid obsolescence.
This housing project is a project of architecture flexible, that means house can adjust and changing needs (personal, practical or technological) and patterns (demographic, economic, or environmental), both social and technological to avoid obsolescence.
The project started with an unconventional request, within a very tight budget, to build a house that can change in space and in function, incorporating long-term social considerations to fit owners’ unknown future changing or needs, as they grow older or lose full mobility.
The clients – an open-minded couple– wanted a home for retirement as a strong counterpoint to their actually downtown house. Talking with the owners, the idea was to enclose indoor rooms as little as possible to maintain the sense of outdoor-life and have a space completely focused on garden and surrounding nature.
As a design principle, we brings time and change to the forefront of thought, by their reconceptualization. We focus on a balanced design approach between hard and soft flexible architecture who makes the housing project more resilient to obsolescence because it allows for the optimization of space (from the level of an individual unit typology to renting house units, to a co-housing unit…) and from one point in time to the entire lifecycle of the building.
Inside the volume, space is project to meet different scale functionality so it could be used for any variety of activities: sleeping, gathering, lounging, renting room, mononuclear or recomposed family. The purpose of this project is flow of space without interruption. Storage unit and custom cabinet rearrange housing configuration that can adapt itself to different privacy, space, and use requirements.
The interior design choice was keeping on basic and working on primary colours, as white (for wall-cabinet and ceiling) and shades of saturated grey (furniture, some cabinet and doors). According to this approach the aesthetic and decorative component is delegated to the composition of volumes, to the incidence of light (natural and artificial) on architectural fittings, to the relation among doors and movable element.
“Flexibility designs house resilient to obsolescence from one point in time to lifecycle”
Metal carpentry frames on a reinforced concrete slab make the building structure; the shed (building envelope) made of three sheets: an external plastered fiber cement panels, a median XPS insulation layer and an internal drywall layer. This structure is chosen for a fast construction time and reduce construction costs.
The inside house’s construction components and doors are movable and modular, floor-to-ceiling MDF (Medium-density fibreboard) furniture units that act as, spatial division and storage; this elements have a standard size and dimension planned on the floor modular unit. These elements allow for the optimization of space and the house to be capable of being or becoming fit (as for a new use) often by modification by owners according to their needs and will. Branches of the plants run, in the false ceiling, to connect each room and to be easily modified and replaced.
A geothermal heat pump with horizontal closed loop makes the conditioning system, we chose this system because it reaches high coefficient of performance (CoP), 3 to 6, on the coldest of winter nights, and assures a cool conditioning in summertime.
The interface between technical systems allows the replacement of one system with another performing the same function and all the pipes and utilities are stocked in a fixed core.
A rainwater recovery recycling system with stainless steel buried underground tank and pump, recovers water from pipes and special recovering elements and uses water for garden, flushes and washing.
We have designed windows to avoid overheating in summer thanks to the protruding architectural elements that avoid the summer sunrays to reach the window but let them enter in winter to heat rooms.