Another one of Marmol Radziner Prefab prototype homes in Desert Hot Springs, California. http://www.archdaily.com/133650/desert-house-marmol-radziner/
We enjoy the open frame that shelters living spaces and the prefabricated
factory building technology that uses modular steel frame units.
We like the Lake Flato Porch House concept. A new way of thinking, designing and building for residential clients.
Stand 47 has been created from a strong architectural concept that has been built on a clear accommodation schedule and brief. Together, they direct all future decision-making on the project relating to design, technology and detailing, especially when doubts arise about the success of the transformation of these intangible ideas into a well resolved building.
Slope: The placement of the house has been influenced by the slope of the site. A three meter drop falling toward the East made it possible to “sink” the house into the ground on level with its lowest point, thereby increasing privacy, maintaining views and also allowing for the house to be built on a single plane, without level differences. Street access is from the East and has required careful placement of garages so as not to obstruct the view toward the South-East. From this point, the buildings extend West, giving the main house full Northern orientation, while shielded it from the elements and overlooking.
Acoustics: The innovation and efficiency concept led to the exploration of lightweight building construction, but in this case noise pollution through the building is a sensitive aspect that is usually perceived to be a weak point in residential applications.
Water harvesting: As part of the estate building guidelines, each home is required to harvest rainwater. In light of this, a mono pitch roof running along the full length of the house offers an opportunity to harvest a significant amount of rainwater.
Flexibility: Our approach to flexibility requires a construction system that can accommodate change in ways that typical brick-and-mortar buildings cannot do as easily as lightweight steel construction can. In this scenario, dry walling can improve the internal flexibility of the design of Stand 47 when its internal walls are move to adapt the size and number of rooms.
Zones: Our design has two clear zones: a Fixed Service area and a Flexible Living area. The Fixed Service area is located along the South, with the Flexible Living areas located along the North in order to benefit from the maximum amount of natural lighting, views and thermal comfort. The section also reflects the different zones through spatial articulation of the roofs. A flat roof runs along the length of the fixed service area and reflects the heaviness of this program. In contrast, above the flexible living areas, lies a lightweight mono-pitch roof that frames the potential internal adaptations.
Planes: The fixed floor and ceiling planes anchor the flexible walls in the Flexible Living area. Designed as continuous elements that run through the length of the building, tying the spaces together, they create the possibility to reposition the internal walls of the living space without having to damage the floor or ceiling. The ceiling runs parallel to the roof and its void contains service zones containing electrical conduits in the centre of each grid, further enhancing the adaptability of the internal layout and building in flexibility to accommodate for future changes in technology. The ceiling plane extends beyond the interior and continues as a large overhang that creates a threshold between building and landscape.
Grid: Our design uses a structuring grid of 900mm x 900mm, based on the dimensions of standard doors and windows. With dry walling placed along grid-lines, the grid structures internal layout configurations and adaptations to allow for maximum flexibility in future, while maintaining the architectural integrity of the building as well as its internal functioning.
Contrast: A number of contrasts exist in the design. Firstly, the contrast between fixed services and flexible living areas; this is further reflected in the contrast between roofs where the flat roof above the services is contrasted by a sloping roof over the living areas with a clerestory between them giving the impression of a floating roof. A second contrast is found in the landscape as it is moulded to merge with the architecture; here the heavy and solid landscape walls are rounded and clad with stone, and as they reach the building, they anchor the space from which the lightweight ‘manmade’ structure emerges. A final contrast occurs in the facades of the Southern and Northern elevation; the to the North, large glazed sections form part of the living room areas while the bedrooms frame views with windows and doors, while to the South the façade is more restrained and simple, with fewer openings.
Our design solution has been generated from a process of transforming the accommodation schedule, brief and design concept into a number of workable design principles. These then generate a functional layout plan that always refers back to the Fixed vs. Flexible approach, and also ensures that the functionality of the home works well with the building strategies and technologies that are available. Although somewhat counter-intuitive, flexibility relies on a few rules and principles that can anchor and guide a number of variations which are sure to work; completely unguided flexibility can result in a breakdown of the integrity of the building.
1. Generate a clear concept that answers the needs of the accommodation schedule, while enhancing the qualities of the brief.
2. Conduct an extensive and detailed site survey
3. Learn from others – find precedents that have similar constraints and aims and see what you can adapt.
4. Compose a few clear design strategies.
5. Mould the design strategies into a plan, section and elevation that continuously answer to the needs of the accommodation schedule and design intent, until the most appropriate solution is generated. The aesthetic is derived from this process and becomes an authentic design solution.
6. Begin to identify the quantity surveyor and engineer who can evolve the design further in the specification step.