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Art House: Standing in the wind

Part 1 Project 2011
Sophie Wallis
Mackintosh School of Architecture, UK
Rooted in the landscape, the Art house sits on twisted axes linking with the formality of the Mount Stuart Estates manicured gardens and turning in a dramatic gesture, elevating the user into the wind, the tree tops, and projecting out towards the Clyde and the strong wind it carries.

The design seeks to challenge the concept of an ‘off-grid building’ and explores what it could mean in this instance. The focus of the structural scheme is specifically about the building as an object and how it could create a series of optimum healthy environments for the different tasks undertaken by the artists during the day. Whilst the energy supply alters depending on exterior factors the house should always retain its integrity. The detailing of the building is inspired by current research into both new and ancient technologies and incorporates a move back to natural materials and phenomena.

The proposal enhances the resident’s connection with the surrounding landscape, which has many times been the subject of the existing Mount Stuart Art’s programme. Whilst the plan and section were of fundamental importance in the design process, the project developed most poignantly through exploration of light and materiality by means of the physical model. The materiality developed to create a dwelling which not only operates off-grid, but patternates and weathers into its surroundings. As the skins which envelope the artists breathe and adjust, the pace of life slows down – measured only by the movement of the shadows.

Sophie Wallis


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