It’s a wild world.

A house designed to suit a distracted, multi-tasking, hyper aware lifestyle. It is a house for “almost cyborgs”, and their active, contentious ways of living. We can think of  Cyborgs as beings with various gadgets appended to, either enhance performance or, make good environmental deficits. It seems there are quite a few about!
Although older houses often provide the built quality we desire, unless well renovated they can limit us, impose unwelcome restrictions & obligations, and obstruct contemporary living. As far as construction goes designers & the construction industry can, together, develop methods of construction. It falls to designers & contractors to challenge & inform each other. This project exploits the development of cross laminated timber to enhance its objective to produce large clear, volumes elegantly, durably & sustainably. The costs of engineering virtuosity are offset by various benefits & economies.
It can seem lacking clear benefit to maintain more than minimum formality, so slightly different levels and zones, are used to facilitate varied simultaneous actvities. The awareness of a single volume provides the necessary containment with maximum flexibility within. Focused, more formal activities take place in a “nest” floated at first floor level, slightly set back from the garden/solar facade or in depressions in the ground floor, or in separate rooms. The extension of walls in Canada typically 1.2-.5m below ground has been used not to create a full basement for the DIY workshop and fallout of excess consumption, rather it facilitates full accessibility and a number of usable sunken areas & storage crawl spaces. The dominance of the horizontal is maintained, the “clean” car is parked with visibility directly on the ground level, workshop or other work uses can be accessed directly from the street, kitchen plot is positioned in semi-shade adjacent to the Kitchen.
Sunshine & heat is brought deep into the large volume by means of a large, slate lined light chute. The rear facade is protected by overhangs & recesses from excessive solar gain. The structural single volume is formed with large engineered timber panels, which act as a carbon sink & when engineered are an economic but solid & durable form of construction, suited to mass production. The layout is fully flexible, this house can work equally well with its opposite orientation & the roof form is easily inflected. As a learning tool, the benefits of more or less partitioning of space, more or less enclosure, will be evident to the owners, who can grasp the size of spaces & their value & so determine their optimal use & layout themselves.
At 10×15 meters, with an eaves height of 7.5 meters, a row house format is mixed with a larger floorplate, using part of that generosity to fit in a 4 meter square light & heat scoop, which projects deep into the plan. Designed to run optimally, North-South the position of that varies 180 degrees depending on orientation. The plot size totals 10×23 meters which is relatively economic. Designed as a rowhouse, the large footprint enables varied communal configurations also.





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