The Paradigmatic House

As the first studio project in the MArch core, the Paradigmatic House focused on the development of three dimensional space from the analysis of two dimensional representations. The two facades of a paradigmatic house presented to each student provided the jump point for their investigation. In my case, Corbusier’s Weisenhoff House presented an interesting set of possible departure points from which to develop the interior. One of the immediate cues from the facades is the apparent symmetry of the volume. While the volume appears symmetrical, the windows suggest an asymmetrical interior configuration. At the same time, the directionality of the windows suggests the configuration of the interior.

The final scheme is the result of the integration of critiques from previous iterations with the two defined concepts; attenuated volumes and programmatic division. The scheme further develops the two programmatic itineraries to shape the interior as well as the two remaining facades. At the same time, the result of having two programmatic sets is a series of attenuated volumes that begin to relate back to the exterior facades. The challenge for the final scheme was to create all of the programmatic complexity within a single volume. Instead of using the lines from the two dimensional elevations to demarcate areas were one volume extended past another, the lines were seen as demarcating the different programmatic allocations on the interior. As such, the lines become a series of reveals that allow for an understanding of the interior condition from the outside. Meanwhile, the shared space is represented on the facades as two large openings that create a central void, further emphazising its subtractive qualities.

In the end, the Paradigmatic House was much more a project about developing a process than creating a house. In fact, the housedness of the project came with a lot of cultural baggage that was simply ignored. It was as if we were told to forget about the consequences of creating a living space and focus purely on the development of a procedure. It shouldn’t have been a house project, but rather an exploration of an iterative process of creation.

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