139 Taylor Wimpey
Project 2020 :: 3 bed House | 5 people
Status Competition 2016
Client Taylor Wimpey
Space + Versatility + Outdoor activity
How will the future ways of living be? How could we envisage coming social trends and habits? Obviously these questions have not a straightforward answer.
This design is not for a particular client, site or location. We propose then a neutral piece that could be further refined and tailored for whichever purpose. With no plot limitations or conditions, the design aims to materialize the concepts we understand could drive fore coming contemporary developments: free-use space, versatility and outdoor activity will be the drivers for our proposal.
It is always challenging to formalize a particular design that suits everyone, but –what we strongly believe- is that free space will be useful for everyone as each potential user would be able to adapt it to their particular needs. By reducing partitions -almost to toilets and storage units- we would propose new homes in where the space could be used in different ways. We would like to imagine homes as a continuous open space just divided by pieces of furniture or sliding doors and panels. The traditional repetition of a number of encapsulated spaces is superseded.
The generous open plan living space and kitchen we propose in this exercise is just an example of how furniture or a re-design of certain traditional partitions could improve the openness and hence the usability of homes. This is particularly crucial if we aim for responding to future –and therefore uncertain- social needs.
Stairs as a piece of furniture
Following these thoughts -and as a design license for this particular brief– we are testing a new way of understanding the traditional “stair + storage underneath” unit by thinking on it more as it was a “piece of furniture” within the main open living space. It would keep performing its role as circulations’ organizer reducing it material presence and providing the overall space with a more airy and open-feeling atmosphere and also without losing the option of storage or, for instance, a wee breakfasting bar underneath…
This is an example of how by questioning the design of “traditionally fixed” elements in a house the overall space gets improved or reformulated.
Versatility | Ground floor versatile bedroom.
As a key movement, and given this approach should suit different needs for a variety of customers, we understand that a ground floor extra space will provide the proposal with a range of interesting options. This flexible space could be used either as a part of the private-night program (bedroom) or taking a role in the public-day area (to become a study for the young professionals, a living room extension if the family wishes it, a playing area for the kids in direct connection with the outdoor space, an added dining room, etc.…).
Again, it has been formalized this way, but the key concept to focus on would be the intention of offering options to the customers so they could use space as they need, and sometimes, the location of certain areas in the house gives the layout numerous possibilities.
Outdoors | Courtyard and natural light
We would like to think on outdoor space as an important added value to every home, but not just what the rest of the plot -out of the actual house footprint- allows for, as we traditionally are used to. We would like to propose homes in where external areas are really part of the house, in where the boundaries between exterior and interior are diluted. We believe that this idea would provide the customers with that feeling of extra possibilities within the same built square meters.
For this particular brief, we chose an L shaped plan to generate a courtyard with a considerable level of privacy, as the house itself encloses it. This feature works also for different plotting configurations. We understand that a good-sized external area (which could be potentially extended into a back garden) would address our varied users´ needs in terms of outdoor activities: barbecue and lunches, gardening, playing area…
The L shape also provides the house with further options for orientation and windows’ openings, to multiply natural lightning and crossed ventilation possibilities.
This specific scheme offers the opportunity of enjoying a first floor terrace, as a further asset in line with the idea of extending the home outdoors as a healthy way of enlarging the usable area within the same construction.
Technology & Construction
The present proposal materializes these ideas considering a responsible structural design approach to ensure suitability for different build methodologies. In terms of energy and technology, the design would comply with the building regulations.
The exposed ideas about minimizing partitions towards an open plan layouts and free-disposal space, compacted service / storage units, fixed elements designed as pieces of furniture, the extension of the home life outdoors to dilute boundaries between indoors-outdoors, the importance of natural light and ventilation, different orientation options… are the concepts we imagine to be used for facing future ways of designing versatile homes.
Ground floor plan
Ground floor view
First floor plan
Section through living area