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House 800 is something I spent about a week designing for myself. Though it is very much a hypothetical project at this point, I am primarily taking the time to model and render the project to work on a set of visualization skills I want to experiment with. I am building it to experiment with immersive visualization techniques like animations, spherical renderings, and virtual reality. Due to many variables including setbacks and environmental overlays, it is a very difficult site to build on and has gone 15 years without an approved building permit. I liked the thought of a good challenge.

The idea was to build a few smaller buildings strategically around the site and connect them with pervious pavers/stepping stones to minimize the impervious area on the site. One would have to park at the edge of the site and walk up to the buildings. The buildings would be built around significant trees on the site in an attempt to keep as much of the site as possible untouched.

The first part of the project was a modest 800 sf house on a beautiful piece of property. In an effort to minimize the impact on the site, the building footprint is intentionally modest and strategically located on the site to minimize any impact on the existing creek that runs through it. It is a quiet building, with the intention of complementing the stone, trees, and water around the site. It was also important to keep everything extremely simple for a really tight budget.

Stone pavers are used to get around the site for two reasons: One, to minimize the amount of impervious pavement on the site, and two, it encourages one to slow down and heighten one's attention to the surrounding environment–a design feature seen in traditional Japanese gardens. Every time you look down and back up to take another step, one is likely to discover little nuances of the same space.

The site is also unique in that it has access from two separate streets–potentially allowing for two separate access points. This allows for two units to share the site while they each maintain a level of privacy and independence, leaving the ability to move the family into one of the units. Framed views are used to isolate parts of the site. The two buildings can share the same views but are never directed at each other.


All design work - Makoto Shibuya

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