Melissa Harris

Following a deep analysis of a house precedent, from redrawing its plans, sections and elevations, to constructing conceptual models, 

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Student Work

Madeira BooydeGraaff

Moriyama House complicates the idea of individual and collective, where the private is only what is not accessible to the eye. In Moriyama, walls from separate units align to create thresholds between units that anyone can access visually. The windows allow direct paths of visual access into and through units, creating a nexus of intersections and overlaps, a room that expands beyond the confines of one unit.

I use the visual paths defined by the frames to (1) isolate the bare minimum parts of the physical building walls that hold space and (2) diagram fields of overlapping vision. Lines of vision determined by alignments of frames produce vision corridors that are not real volumes but create an alternative space that travels through the whole complex. One can visually move across the complex and into units despite the presence of individual units. The arrangement of alignments and extensions of vision draws the context in, relate the separate buildings to each other, and extend the space between them. Because of these views, private spaces become a part of the communal space.

Dominica Kusmierczyk

The Poli House by architect Pezo Von Ellrichshausen challenges the convention of boundaries and creates a fluid relationship between interior spaces and exterior elements throughout moments in the house. When navigating the staircase located in the outer shell, the users come across openings in the thick facade that entirely expose them to the exterior. A series of abstract Rockite models reduces the precedent into an analysis of this sudden transition the user experiences within the house. In one moment the user is situated in a space that is tightly enclosed, then quickly finds themself in an expansive, exposed space in a matter of a few steps. This experience is translated into the design of a new iteration of the Poli House: a two family unit complex that follows the provocation “where one can be alone and together”. The volumetric approach to the design allows the units to intertwine creating opportunities for both shared moments and shared spaces between both families throughout the house. This creates an environment with moments of privacy along with moments of designated togetherness. Furthermore, every window placement informs a moment of interaction, whether it corresponds with an opening in the wall that allows the user to interact with the exterior space or whether it’s a window that looks into another unit or shared space permitting interaction between the two families. Thus, the ambiguity of interior and exterior space is maintained, where one can interact with exterior air while remaining enclosed by the boundaries of the house.

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