Stand 47 website has gone live!!

After some web design tweaking, a restructuring of the content…and an investigation into  creating a brand identity for Stand 47, we have gone live! We are looking forward to seeing people’s comments and feedback. The website contains both the theoretical themes underpinning the design, as well as a visual diary to track the progress during the 4 Steps we’ve identified in building a house. We are especially interested in monitoring how this digital approach to a visual diary tracks the evolution of this project as a record of the design and construction of the house.

Social profiles

Our Social Profiles have been created!
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Design phase commences

We are entering the Design phase now – the time where a good design can become a great design if the design of the home is resolved to meet the intent of accommodation schedule. The architect’s core challenge is resolve how the functional design of the home can meet the demands of the accommodation schedule.  This translates primarily into a plan – and aesthetics are not the primary consideration at this stage. This is an early iteration of the plan.

Developing the accommodation schedule concept

Karlien Thomashoff and Gavin Rooke develop the “flexible accommodation schedule” concept – and the home is divided into fixed ‘functional” areas and flexible ‘living areas’.  This concept serves as the fundamental design concept of the home going forward.

What is the 4-step process?

Our view is that restrictive modern-day constraints combined with the vast array of alternative construction materials and technology available demands a review of the traditional process applied to building a contemporary home.

We have therefore devised a 4 Step process to follow when creating Stand 47;
1. The Accommodation Schedule, 
2. Design, 
3. Specification and
4. Construction

The 4 Steps include what we have learnt, our conclusions and recommendations. These steps also serve as a review of the traditional process of building a home and our suggestions for potentially improving thereon. We believe that understanding the steps involved in building a home makes it easier for anyone who is considering building an efficient home to appreciate how the process unfolds, what needs to be planned ahead, when certain decisions need to be made and the respective roles of key professionals and suppliers.

A fundamental learning is that the order of decision-making fundamentally affects the overall success of such a project. Fundamental decisions regarding function (by way of the accommodation schedule) serve as the foundation of effective design decisions, which in turn lead to more effective specifications and ultimately more efficient construction. The process certainly includes feedback loops, but the direction is critical.

Each Step consists of some “principles” which are generic, while those specific to Stand 47 are discussed under “options”. Then the idea used to resolve our problem is discussed under “solution” and a summary of our findings can be found under “conclusion”.

Step 1 – Accommodation Schedule
Step 2 – Design
Step 3 – Specification
Step 4 – Construction

A researcher joins Stand 47

It was decided early on that the process of design and construction of Stand 47 would need need to be documented in order for the what has been learnt to become a valuable contribution to all the parties involved. In addition, the possibility of using Stand 47 as a replicable / pre-made house has also been explored, but without keeping track of the process this would never be possible. Therefore, Gavin recruited Edna, an architect, urban designer and PhD candidate at the University of Pretoria, to take on the role of documenting the project history and evolution.

Refining the 4-step process

The team refine the 4-step process to outline the role of the efficiency criteria and the distinction between generic principles and project-specific solutions. This step defines the core content set of the website for which a dedicated researcher and writer is required. 

Defining the 4-step process

The team defines a 4-Step process comprising:
1 – Accommodation Schedule 
2 – Design 
3 – Specification and 
4 – Construction.

The process defines the order of priority for all decision making throughout the project and allows for feedback loops beyond the Accommodation Schedule stage. All decisions flow from left to right, unless a specific feedback loop warrants the re-evaluation of a previous decision.

Precedent studies – learning from the past

There lies great value in studying other buildings in order to learn from their successes and weaknesses. This form of precedent study forms a large part of the initial stages of the architectural process, wherein the principles, and not necessarily the aesthetic, are observed so that they may be applied in another context with new and different conditions. 

At Stand 47, the architect has taken clues from the modernist houses of the last century, shown in the images above. These houses show a simplicity that is the result of a number of conceptual design decisions and detailing strategies that focus on clean lines and continuity. Materiality and lightweight design as well as furniture or built in joinery as room dividers, also feature strongly. These principles are being adapted to the efficiency concept, creating the perfect backdrop for change to happen in future, while still maintaining the integrity of the building.

Setting the scene…

The cadastral specifications for stand 47. 

A 3m drop toward the East is a major positive feature of this site – and has generated the approach to drop the building into the site. In addition, the total site area is about 3766 sqm with a row of mature trees lining the Southern edge of the stand. Half of the total site area is allowable coverage.