Not So Empty Nest (Anywhere in USA, Competition, Honorable Mention)

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In response to the challenge of livability, adaptability, and affordability, the not so empty house must be a flexible house in its programmatic elements, orientation of each of those elements and its construction phasing.  Therefore, our proposal consists of four building blocks that can be arranged according to the clients’ programmatic needs, oriented according to the shape and orientation of the site, and build in phases according to the clients’ financial ability and materials that reflect the genius loci of the site.

The four building blocks are living/dining area, sleeping area, studio/guest/home aid area and garage/storage area that is connected using outdoor/indoor circulation connections.  The arrangement can be linear or clustered depending on the programmatic needs, the shape of the site and orientation.  This allows each client to build in phases and add on as they need more space or to rent out spaces/areas not in used.  This will allow them to maintain only a small portion of their house to provide additional income and to keep their house safe while traveling.

Since the shape and location of the site is unknown, the four blocks give flexibility each owner to fit the arrangement on their site. This also means they can customize the arrangement to suit their programmatic needs and preferences, making the block layout customized for them.  In addition, exterior materials can be chosen based on the local climate, construction method as well as owners’ preference.  Even the block basic shape can be adjusted to meet owner’s preference and local climate making the house able to weather and have long lasting life.

Windows and skylights are operable to create cross ventilation/natural ventilation for passive cooling and provided in every single space for natural light.  In addition, the house incorporates radiant heating system that requires no ducting to reduce maintenance cost as well as energy cost.  Other green strategies can be chosen to be incorporated based on owners’ budget and interests such as solar panel, recycled materials, local materials, rain harvesting etc.

We believe that these design strategies are the answers to universal design with regional response and personal touch of each owner as well as being green.



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