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Photograph of Loblolly House Taylors Island, USA
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24/10/2007 : LOBLOLLY HOUSE TAYLORS ISLAND, USA

Named for the tall pines that characterise its site on the Chesapeake Bay, this 2,200 square-foot single family residence seeks to deeply fuse the natural elements of this barrier island to architectural form.
Positioned between a dense grove of loblolly pines and a lush foreground of saltmeadow cordgrass and the bay, the architecture is formed about and within the elements of trees, tall grasses, the sea, the horizon, the sky and the western sun that define the place of the house. This is a design that takes the modular approach to its absolute limit defying the notion that prefabricated houses are all cheap, cheerful and boring. But here it is demonstrated that they need only be a tool in creating architecture that is unique and accessible.

The ultimate modular house

The initial concepts and driving force of the design came out of a feel for the site and the natural surroundings. The architects envisioned a tree house style home, lifted off the ground and into the canopy of Loblolly pine trees that surround the house.

The view of the house through the forest and the backdrop of the forest behind the house mimics the passage of light through the forest. The exterior environment is brought indoors through a carefully chosen palette of materials. The floor of the house is clad in green bamboo to replicate the green of the grass plain below. Similarly the orange glass draws attention to the ritual of the sun passing through the west facing house.

The architect has taken a specific approach to the task modular building. The idea of an elemental architecture extends to the method of assembly. The house is composed entirely of off-site fabricated elements and ready-made components, assembled from the platform up in less than six weeks. This is a hybrid system that allows more unusual spaces to be created, for example the 24 foot wide living area proves that expansive spaces can exist. It is an off the shelf system modified by custom made fabrications. It is estimated that as much as 70% was built off site, compare that to the 10% of a typical house and it is clear this is a system of construction that breaks the boundaries of fabrication processes.

The architects divided the chain between three tiers of suppliers and a final assembler, much in the way automotive companies outsource major components of each car with final assembly at factories throughout the world. The conception and detailing are formed about four new elements of architecture: the scaffold, the cartridge, the block and equipment. The assembly process begins with off-site fabricated floor and ceiling panels, termed "smart cartridges." They distribute radiant heating, hot and cold water, waste water, ventilation, and electricity through the house. Fully integrated bathroom and mechanical room modules are lifted into position. Exterior wall panels containing structure, insulation, windows, interior finishes and the exterior wood rain screen complete the cladding. The west wall is a glazed system with two layers providing an adjustable awning as well as weather and storm protection.

This methodology confronts not only the question of how we assemble our architecture, but our obligation to assume responsibility for its disassembly. It is a vision in which our architecture, even as it is disassembled at some unknown moment, can be relocated and reassembled in new ways from reclaimed parts.

ARCHITECT: KIERAN TIMBERLAKE ASSOCS

YOUR COMMENTS

bonjour.Je suis etudiante et je cherche la floating house bati en 2003 par tezuka .En fait je voudrais connaitre l'adresse de la maison .Merci d'avance
Added on 15th December 2009

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