'Redirecting existing technologies for increase in performance in building systems and methods'
AWARDED: Citation For Technology, Boston Society of Architects
AWARDED: Mention, Living Box Competition, Rome
Depending on your latitude, it could be argued that the built environment is moving over 1000mph with the Earth's rotation. Though the structures we inhabit are relatively still, they are a part of this motion. Yet, these structures do not actively adapt to regional weather extremes like snow, heat, and rain which stress these structures and sites. More importantly the presence of the built environment changes the ecology of the site when it is compounded with the effect of storm run-off, snow drifts, and even floods that put a given site motion.
We look to the technology of tires to cross pollinate new criteria for how we envision the needs for intelligently structured surfaces that might contain a variety of living environments. Racing tires for instance, are designed for a variety of criteria.
Tread patterns, wall structures, and rubber compounds act together to expel water to offer optimal traction within a speed, heat, and given surface standard.
This lead us to further investigate how surface patterning could direct water flow. Later investigations created solutions for patterning to have a relationship to the volume delivered to a zone of the site. In other words it would regulate or manage the speed of flow. What could this mean for materials and assemblies? Would the subtleties of these systems vary from region to region? How might the overall volume be reshaped for optimal air movement around the site, and with the living environment? What would these strategies mean for a single unit or a dense cluster?
AWARDED: Honor Award, AIA DC Unbuilt Awards
EXHIBIT: National Building Museum, 2010
Continuing our interest in structured surfaces, we shift our focus toward finding new uses within existing systems. Specifically, the prefabricated ribs of a 'quonset hut'. To answer the design problem of a house for a family of four under 100K dollars, we found economy at the intersection of performance by choosing a material that was naturally a structural shape. We reached outside of traditional architectural means and streamlined the budget and assembly by minimizing the mix of trades. Therefore, more principle was applied to product then time.
We expanded upon the use of the prefabricated ribs as simply as outer structure to also produce an inner liner that created cavities for insulation, and raceways for electrical and plumbing lines. Layering an outer and inner system offered a clear vaulted space for living, that provided the utility to access these otherwise walled up zones.
At the core of our work is a pursuit to drive a variety of potential use scenarios. These otherwise 'houses' are simply a display of these systems that are designed to carry an expanded function of ecological, structural, and spatial longevity.