From Atelier RZLBD
This residential building has been designed for a developer, and draws upon three individual issues. Their collaboration can commence a new approach, and shift to the countenance of the urban fabric of the post-postmodern era. This is a building that has been developed from a simple cubical mass and each of the three issues (social, environmental, and economical) has acted as an instrument while forming its design. The end result is a design that is not intended as a beautiful object but rather it is an object formed by non-design concepts and objectives.
Environmental responsiveness and sustainability has been respected by implementing two extruding triangular masses; one with the 63-degree angle on the main façade and the other deterring the otherwise conventional flat roof. The triangular extruding mass on the façade has been designed to align with the south direction to collect the most amount of natural light, allowing a greenhouse situation. This also has been improved by the double height interior of the triangular mass. The transparent section of the façade has been designed in a way to distort the actuality of the building’s scale and continue to introduce a complexity of spatial autonomy and simulated logic of scale. This has been integrated in the interior by aligning the kitchen with the sidewalls, and using minimal partitioning, to once again generate a visually perceived larger space for the residents. The triangular extrusion on the roof allows for the use of less expensive and sustainable material as oppose to the pitched roof. The shape of the roof corresponds to the extrusion of the façade to construct a harmonious asymmetry.
The economical aspect of the project allows today’s builders and developers to think of experimenting with design, as to once again involve the field of architecture in low-cost housing projects. It is the cost of construction for this residential unit that is equal if not less than the “ready to make” designs that are being constructed every day in our neighbourhoods (this project has returned a twenty five percent margin of profit as oppose to the conventional fifteen percent profit that Toronto experiences these days). The assigned materials to be used are also more sustainable, durable and cost effective, and contrary to the conventional materials incorporated in residential housing, namely artificial masonry, this house is enveloped almost entirely with aluminum siding.
Furthermore this is an introduction to the awareness towards quality of life and built environment within the socio-economic groups. Implementing designs that challenge the conventions of our built environment, citizens will become more aware, and eager to imagine further and improve their neighbourhoods while paying respect to their social responsibilities such as sustainability and environmental responsiveness. Overall, this house is a product of consideration, and socio-cultural sensitivity: by evoking the idea that; design belongs to everyone and everywhere.