23.2

Lead Designer
Prize(s)Honorable Mention
Entry Description

23.2 is a house for a family, built on a large rural acreage. There is a gentle slope from east to west and two masses of old growth forest defining two “outdoor rooms” each with a its own distinct ecology and conditions of light; the house is situated at the point of maximum tension in between these two environments, and acts at once to define, and also to offer a focused transition between them. The design of the house itself began with a depository of one hundred year old Douglas Fir beams reclaimed from demolished warehouses. The beams had astonishing proportions of different lengths and cross sectional dimensions. It was agreed that the beams were sacred artifacts in their current state and that we would not manipulate or finish them in any way. Because of the irregular dimensions, we needed to commit to a geometry that would accommodate the tremendous variety in dimension, while still allowing the possibility of narrating legible spaces. We settled on a triangular geometry. Reclaimed beams were used to assemble triangular frames; these were folded to create a roof, which acts as a secondary artificial landscape draping over the gentle slope of the site. We manipulated the creases to create implicit and explicit relationships between indoor and outdoor space, such that every interior room had a corresponding exterior room. In order to maximize ambiguity between interior and exterior space, we removed definition of one significant corner of each room by pulling the structure back from the corner itself, and introducing an accordion door system, such that the entire façade on both sides could retract and completely disappear. We developed a detail that would allow the beams to define not only the ceilingscape of each interior room, but also to read strongly as elements of the building façade.