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Reformatting the suburban house to fit the Craft Class and improving the cul-de-sac neighborhood.
Post-Industrial Domestic
The house reformatted for the Craft Class
The cul-de-sac stays, but needs is updated.  It's more dense- lot sizes were reduced to about a third and homes have double the occupants.  The house is brought to the street, giving the part of the lot back to the neighborhood.
The program for this home is a couple who owns the house.  They are starting and own a furniture company.  They  rent two rooms to younger individuals- one works at a craft butcher in a neighboring cul-de-sac, the other is an aspiring photographer.  They also rent a floor to a family of four.  The mother goes to work in the city, the kids go to a local school.  The father of this family takes care of the house and the garden, the photographer helps him.  I'm choosing this group of people because I wanted to help move the design forward in a more specific way, but this group also represents some general changes I think are important.  In this model, all parties benefit economically with reduced burden.  The business owners are able to reduce the financial burden of their shop by collecting rent from those renting rooms.  Those renting rooms are relieved from the burden of ownership, which is risky and inflexible.  In more intimate connection, there are opportunities for paying rent in non-monetary ways.  The father and the photographer chip in by making meals, gardening, cleaning, etc.  For the photographer, this provides an opportunity to develop her work without the direct pressures of the market- finding a job that provides the income and benefits needed.
The productive work-craft space is brought to the front, street side and made transparent.  This broadcasts our work- both finished and in process- and activates the street.  On a stroll through the neighborhood, you'd see CNC routers operating, meats hanging in windows, and clothes being made.
The domestic space is underground- below grade.  As we become more transient, we get disconnected.  Being rooted in the earth gives us a sense of reconnection.  There are some really interesting studies on the growth of cities in China.  As families that have lived in extended family Hutong houses for centuries are moving or being moved to more modern buildings they're explaining that they feel a loss of connection with the ground and earth.  I think this anxiety is growing in our own culture too.  Underground, we feel safer, cozy, grounded.  As weather changes and becomes more extreme, we also find environmental benefits underground- cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter.  This space, is not a basement.  The atrium collects sunlight and creates a connection to the sky, a sense of time passing.  Fresh air moves the space.  Surrounding rooms are partially viewable from other spaces, creating a mix of transparency and privacy within levels of the atrium.
A roof structure made from smart panels responds to environmental conditions- darkens to collect sun energy and block sunlight, becomes transparent to let in light when/where appropriate, opens to allow air movement.  The overall geometry is determined by the wind patterns in Ann Arbor, creating positive pressure on the back side and a negative pressure on the front side- pulling air through when desired.  The performance roof-scape is also calibrated to bring more direct light into the atrium space during the winter and reflect more in the summer.