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2005 09 26
Triangle House Part 4

After the completion of my ‘little’ house I had a little party. I invited my friends, my family, the local community, the project’s tradesmen and suppliers to come and share their experience with the then unknown triangle.

My friends and associates first response was to, naturally, congratulate me for my courage soon to be followed by the question, why did you do this? As if to say; why this manifestation? Why here?

The trades had a different response. They would bring their buddies and give them private tours without me. I would overhear them recite the nuances. Like the combined heating and domestic hot water system, orchestrated electrical and plumbing designed with baseboard and pilasters, comparing the vibrations and sound of this frame home with that of a masonry home because of the concrete toping on top of the joists and limiting the building footprint with pier construction, the concrete positioned to act as a ‘thermo mass’ assisting in heating and cooling depending on season, and so on….

The public’s response was first in the form of questions. Is it finished yet? Is it a house? Why use this ‘black paint colour’? For the public, they were not accustomed to seeing plywood painted. A common reaction was also that they thought this building, at first, was ugly and wondered what that hell I was doing. Now that they’ve had a chance to see the inside and outside, they’ve changed there minds. The building was surprisingly simple and nice – “odd but cool”.

A few weeks prior to the official opening a fully staffed FIRE TRUCK stopped in front of the house. My thoughts – Oh shit! As they all descended from the truck to the front door I asked the firemen what the problem was? The smiling fireman stated they had watched this house being built and collectively could no longer resist the urge to stop by. I gave them a guided tour. It was my pleasure. As an aside, a similar situation occurred at 157 Coxwell Avenue. That time it was a posse of police. I again gave them a tour and dropped by the local precinct with a personal invitation to the opening in a few weeks.

It is still wonderful to have all sorts of people looking around it and sometimes wanting a tour. I give a tour if I can. Occasionally my tenant at 157 Coxwell Avenue (the other house) will let people into the ground floor living room. (see Coxwell video at – Spaces By Rohan).

I hoped, in the end, that 1292 College Street could be a testament to the necessity of imagination, design, economics and urban design even though personal circumstances allowed me only a ‘scrap’ of land as the canvas. The making of 1292 College Street was a teaching tool for myself: the possible from the improbable. To the public, a future client or a future employer I hoped it would mark a piece of my résumé. What this house conveys will naturally depend on the experience and perspectives of the viewer.

[email this story] Posted by Rohan Walters on 09/26 at 08:58 AM

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