Vertzone house – Power of narrative

This is the third post about our second-semester project, if you would like to see more click here.

After the scrutiny of my design, we did last time. We were ready for a presentation of our idea to our colleagues and teachers. And now I am going to present it to you, with an architectural tool called “the narrative”.

I always believed in the power of storytelling as a tool to solve problems. It is nearly guaranteed to see the world differently when you imagine yourself as user of your design. Imagine your client in everyday situations, morning routine or when their friends visit. How are they going to use the spaces you imagined? Does it correspond with their lifestyle? There are many questions we asked ourselves during designing this house and the house reflects them all, the house is the answer.

Imagine. Imagine this is your house.Vertzone house_Outline

You have two children, boy(12) and girl(10). They have their rooms in the basement. They have access directly from their room to the garden. The basement is accessible by ramp, so your son can ride from school on his bike (remember we are in Denmark) and he will drive right next to his room. He parks his bike and he is now in his own room, he is a teenager, he needs its own space. Deal with it, for a few years from now, you will be seen as old-fashioned, boring and who knows what. So now he has its own space and so do you. You have first floor for yourself. Muhahahah. Your daughter rides a bike from school as well. She drops her bike and goes to her room with few friends of her, she will be a teenager soon and the years go by and maybe, your children have their own flats or houses. So you do not need the space anymore, so you just move the washing machine to the ground floor, do a new kitchen where number 8 is and you rent the bottom floor to students or young couple. Or you will make a hobby room out of the room of your son or daughter. It is your decision.

basement with notes

Ground floor with a nice terrace. In the summer, you can invite friends and enjoy evenings with a glass of wine, looking over the lake. In the winter you can gather around the fire stove (number 7) in your living room. You will dine with your family by the window, which also overlooks the lake. ground floor notes

And finally, your own kingdom. Upstairs, you have a bedroom, bathroom and an office. Personal domain for you and your partner.1st floor

And the whole house stands proudly on this plot. Lake to the west, fields on the north. The lake is a protected area. So you know that the view cannot be spoiled.

Site plan

And below, you can see the cross section of the house. Notice the two-storey living room. Your house looks amazing.

cross section

I think we did pretty well for second-semester students. With the power of narrative, we went through the design process together and ended with pretty neat result. We delivered the presentation, the feedback was mostly positive and now, scheme design awaits.

We have our idea, but now we have to find out how to execute it. What is going to support our house? What are the walls made of? Every detail must be analysed and solved. Every connection between materials. In this house, there are many many details. And all of them have to be solved and drafted, so the contractor can see what are we trying to achieve.

There are also things about the building process or the building economy. We have to estimate the price of the house based on the units of materials we are going to need, we need to come with general diagram of the order, how the house will be assembled.

But my personal favourite is construction detailing. Putting all those pieces together, thinking of a solution which will make everyone happy. The god is in the detail.

This house has no overhang. Overhangs are quite practical things, they protect the facade. But imagine this house with an overhang,  it would have looked like mushroom. I do not want overhang, so as one of the details, I have to come up with a solution for that. And that is just one example. But there are four of us in the team. Together, we can do amazing things I hope.

So, I next time about that overhang, wish me luck.





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