Khinkechiku Residencial Design Competition2008
Four Square House Design Problem -Homage to John Hejduk-
judge Rafael Moneo
Hightly Commended

1. ConceptThe challenge of having to provide an architectural solution working within restricted boundaries (9 sq m)   leads us to meditate on the relationship between architecture (artifice, technology) and nature, and how this relationship can be created and maintained.The triangle cut from the diagonal of the initial square, allows us to combine architecture and nature into one single element.

The repeated triangulations within the 16 squares build a base grid which defines the geometric relationship between architecture and landscape.

2. Composition sets

The grid obtained from the triangulation of the 16 squares gives us a geometric composition on to which we can weave our architectonic solutions and articulate the relationship between architecture and landscape.

We then come to define three relational categories between architecture and nature that stem from the different combinations to the architectural elements (triangles) possible inside the unit – which, in turn, are based on three distinct principles.

-2.1 Simple geometric units

This set of solutions relies on a simple and immediate display of the architectural elements. The geometrical elements are laid out in three different ways taking up minimal space within the unit. Architecture and nature are configured as separate entities. The composition takes up a solid but clearly legible character. The first solution is to aggregate the apartments together at the centre point of the unit, which allows for more green space to define the house against the surrounding city. The second solution is to allocate an apartment to each of the corners of the unit, creating a green space in the middle. The third solution is to lay the apartments at the edges of the unit on one single level, alternating perpendicular to each other. This creates a more complex relationship between architecture and nature. A natural flow is created that transforms the unit into a multitude of spaces with different qualities.

-2.2 Sinple direction flow

The layout of the architectural elements according to only one direction allows a relative shift between architectural space and natural space, so that a geometrical hierarchy is established between architecture and nature. The natural spaces become the negative of the architectural spaces and vice versa. The different ways of composing the elements change the relationship between architecture and nature, with a direct impact on the fabric of the garden city.

-2.3 Crossed Flow

This last set of solutions results from the evolution of the previous two and represents the culmination of our research. The relationship between architecture and nature, i.e. the geometrical relationship amongst the different elements, is here organized according different directions, none of which is prevailing over the other. Architecture and nature are both present and interrelated.

The relationship thus established is not privileging architecture over nature and neither is nature prevailing over architecture, rather the two are combined in one single movement. Architecture is borne out of a transformation of nature; a hard surface is transformed into an organic surface and vice versa.

3-Flexible elements

When defining the buildings, we have introduced a series of flexible elements which apply to all our solution sets. These elements, apart from performing a given function, serve the purpose of unifying architecture with nature. The view of the garden city is characterized by   visual continuity with its surroundings, from which some landmarks emerge.Flexible elements are the result of geometrical subdivision of the base triangle into smaller triangles. We can assign them a function, depending on their size.The elements are as follows: lobby light tower green tower staircase tower chimney kitchen bathroom

3- Definition of flexible elementsFlexible elements arise from the subdivision of the original triangle, which constitutes the base module in the project. 5 different type of triangle Further subdivisions give us a minimum module of 5 sq m which can serve as a bathroom. The bigger module of 20, 5 sq m can host a light tower, a hallway or a green tower. The intermediate module of 10, 25 sq m can be used as a kitchen. Flexible elements not only can be given a  specific function, but also act as interlocking units between two triangles, reconstituting the original 9sq m X 9 sq m triangle  in different combinations. 5difference type of triangle

Design : Marzio Clementi + BarattiniSchuster architects

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