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2005 09 19
Triangle House Part 3
In the initial design sketches, the notion of making a building that would literally support a billboard and provide a source of income flashed across my consciousness. This was the tail wagging the dog, i.e., building was the foil for the ‘sign’, hence boring because it relied on the sign’s graphics and ‘designed’ support details of the billboard to manifest visual interest. (See sketch above)
I also dabbled a little with conventional building methodology and appearance; a counterpoint to the eclectic and outright scattered notions of architecture in the neighbourhood. (see sketch above) This sketch was merely a reaction to the dissonance I perceived in the local context. I thought I would create an anchoring point. I abandoned this notion very quickly. This was not the site to anchor but rather to ‘pivot’ and that is the point I realized the building although it had to conform the Ontario Building Code, that it of itself would also be transitional or a stage of something or a stage to something. The notion of the everlasting building embodying the everlasting idea was not this one but maybe in could point to an alternative vision.

Another ‘life’ factor that determined the facts of the design’s materiality and methodology was that it had to be completed before my wife came off maternity leave. With two kids I would have no time for this project. Speed and timing were critical.

Therefore an average carpentry crew was to handle eighty five percent of the work. When the budget is tight materials and methods must perform at least two to three functions. Other multiple characteristics included: heated floor combined with light weight concrete, cheaper on the utilities, no airborne molds or dust, no filters, no noisy motors, stiffens the building, attenuates sound and vibration; a water-heater/furnace combination unit; insulating batts which also attenuate sound and wick moisture away; resin impregnated plywood, paintable, water and alkaline resistant, stable at extreme temperatures, strong as hell and when interlaced across the facade becomes a diaphragmatic structure aiding in the distribution of stress and vibration, outside the vapor barrier will off-gas to the exterior; the baseboard as a conduit for electrical and plumbing runs; combining the air and vapor barriers in one material or one system hence the ‘reverse-roof’ and the ‘super 6 poly’ air/vapor barrier in a wood-frame wall; exposed spruce, pine or fir wherever possible; light fixture that relied on the design of the bulb for it’s intrinsic aesthetic – A19’s (aka half mirror bulbs) and ‘fat alberts’; the ‘false-brick’ (insulated brick panels) at grade to give insulation and increase the perception of ‘toughness’ at grade against the sidewalk and provide a future surface for ‘urban’ artistic expression. (see sketch below)
The demographics of the community were already here. Transitional with bohemian sensibilities. What I mean by transitional is; as people build their lives, develop in their jobs and basically desire more they will move on; three to five years is what I figured for the studio/home at 1292 College Street.
[email this story] Posted by Rohan Walters on 09/19 at 01:04 PM

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