Swiss Army Batch

Is there a way to satisfy different needs with a single architectural approach?

Some time ago I had the opportunity to present an entry for a 5-home design contest. The task consisted in designing the group of single-family houses, according to specific necessities and users. A common approach would be to plan each project separately. Another, thinking about each house as a unique element of a whole that has aesthetic language as a connecting theme. These lead to the question: Is there a step further? Is there a way to satisfy different needs with a single architectural approach? The formal solution to the problem was the creation of a basic module that contained all “rigid” program of a house: kitchen, bathroom, stairs. The result was a rigid, but compact package; Something like an architectonic swiss army knife.

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“Inbetween Spaces” Pt.3

Part 3: Both-And and Crossprogramming

An architectonic element is often interpreted as an absolute in a universe of dualities, or even multiplicities. “Either-or” is chosen instead of “both-and”. For example, a space can be considered as an outside or inside space, but never both. For Robert Venturi, “An architecture which includes varying levels of meaning breeds ambiguity and tension.” (Venturi, Robert 1966, p.23) In consequence, space can have various interpretations, which change depending on the observer. “At one moment one meaning can be perceived as dominant; at another moment a different meaning seems paramount.” (Venturi, Robert 1966, p.32)

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The Marseille Trick

Design Process is often fun. Nevertheless, we reach situations where space is tight: We want to fix a lot of function in very little square footage. In other cases, budget is what is tight, and we can´t seem to find a way to save money. What I call “The Marseille trick” almost always helps me when I get caught in these problems. Also, spatially, the trick can make an otherwise boring project into something pretty interesting.

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