Arquitectos: Alejandro Aravena + ELEMENTAL
Equipo: Diego Torres, Rebecca Emmons
Superficies: 168 m2 (inicial) - 320 m2 (ampliado)
Ubicación: New Orleans, EEUU.
Architects: Alejandro Aravena + ELEMENTAL
Team: Diego Torres, Rebecca Emmons
Built area: 168 m2 (initial) - 320 m2 (expanded)
Location: New Orleans, USA.
PRIDE IS THE COMMUNITY’S GREATEST ASSET
First, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger!
Survivors to tough situations, achieve a higher consciousness of their potential as human beings and come out with a strengthened character. No wonder pride is what defines such communities and what becomes their biggest asset. This means that people deserve a house capable of matching this new status and able to capitalize this potential. The first step is to Make it Right! and at the end of the road we will have made it better. So, we designed a house capable of being a departing point with a broader horizon within which families can develop and express themselves.
Second, who are we to tell people how to live?
Communities that are proud of their cultural heritage, always have a leading role in the definition of their own lives. We at Elemental might have some technical knowledge and some design skills, but we are not going to tell people how to live their lives.
This means that we have to create an open system rather than a closed design, a structural framework that is responsible for difficult, complex duties and operations, but that allows for personal interventions and customization. If we take care of those aspects of construction that are more difficult to be done individually, it is then up to the families to adapt and develop their homes to their own needs and aspirations.
We were required to design an 1.800 sqf house. We designed a house that can expand up to 2,700 sqf, within a safe structure and efficient and sustainable infrastructures, as a framework for the “do it yourself” concept. Our design is prepared to change over time, just as the evolving family needs and aspirations do. We defined a layout which considers expansions as part of the project: changes are welcome. We just designed the most difficult part of a future 2,700 sqf house, so that expansions can be done in an easy, economical, quick and safe way. The scheme accommodates the required program in half of the maximum allowed volume. The other half is initially a big porch able to accommodate expansions of the original home or even a second house. This is the space for the expression of the families’ own cultural and living traditions, and ultimately increasing their assets thanks to a larger house or the additional income.