Another Design Experiment . January 20, 2016
The Kansas Project: Design Charrette Week 1
This week we begin a multi-week design charrette. Our goal will be to use the analysis we have undertaken to this point to push the design forward; this is in anticipation of the data we will get from WindEEE in the coming weeks.
During Week 1 of this charrette, we have designed a ‘home’ that is essentially two levels. The protected lower-level of the design is comprised of three zones that are integrated into the hill to maximize resiliency and thermal benefit. The first, and most prominent, is the live/work laboratory space. The southwestern exposure was most important for this space because of the tendencies of approaching weather systems and storms. The other two zones emerging from the hill are bedrooms or living units, one with views of sunrise and the other with views of sunset, reflecting the weather/climate/solar-centric themes of the project. A foundational shelter would also be incorporated at this level, to provide easy access during tornado warnings and extreme weather events.
The second level of the ‘home’ is an exposed open-air pavilion/atrium designed with flexibility to encourage regular use, through a variety of weather conditions. The wood slat canopy is held up by glulam (glued laminated timber) trusses that anchor to the northeast foundation of the pavilion behind a row of garden beds. The intention of this canopy is to support native plant growth, as well as to house photovoltaic panels and water collection systems. Our intention is to utilize several sustainable strategies for energy and water harvesting, building/construction practices, and food production.
Views from the pavilion are 360 degrees, but will be directed strategically to focus the dweller toward various features and conditions of the sky. Passive design approaches will be applied throughout; for example, the atrium is designed to shield the sun during warm summer months, but also to allow for direct sun during colder months.
The next iteration of this design is already underway and will be updated in next week’s post. We welcome any comments, critiques, or questions regarding design or process.