Topomorphic House, Colorado Plains CO

This project deals with the scale of a single-family house to explore how architecture might provide the interface between humanity, nature, and technology on a daily basis.

There is a great similarity between the shape of the human body and the rolling, non-urban topography. The shoulder fragment is placed in the landscape as a way of exploring the connection between humanity and nature, and as a way of establishing a dialogue. A Cartesian, three-dimensional, nine-square grid is used to symbolize the scientific, rational world, and the fragment of the human body to symbolize the emotional, spiritual world. These two aspects represent two fundamental aspects of humanity.

This architecture explores how technology can change our experience of the house. The design is meant to provide total flexibility, allowing the interior to expand and contract during the life of the family. As the family grows, components can be added to provide additional rooms. As the family decreases, rooms could be eliminated, allowing the spaces to get larger. If the occupants move, they can easily unplug elements of the kitchen, bathrooms, cabinets and lighting and move them to their next dwelling, leaving a volume of space to be occupied and shaped by the next inhabitant.

This flexibility is made possible with off-site fabrication, a method that has been used in the automobile, shipbuilding, and aerospace industries for decades. Each element is conceptualized as an integrated part of a collection of parts to produce a whole. This reduces waste by efficiently coordinating integrated systems and recycling the parts. The Cartesian orthogonal armature is made of lightweight posts and beams, spanned by lightweight plywood or plastic floor and wall panels, and glass and metal exterior walls. The shoulder's form is achieved with panelized translucent insulated fiberglass. The components are fabricated together in a factory, delivered to the site, and erected on the foundation.

The translucent shoulder tracks the movement of the sun, providing soft diffused light to the interior and informing the occupants of the cycles of nature. During the day, the building is like an unlit Noguchi light, subtle and quiet. At night, the translucent shoulder glows, speaking to its neighbors