6.5.2008

Villa Strata, Dinamarca

This project is based upon all the advantages of the detached house or the house in the suburban street, and enhances these qualities, whereas all the burdensome and time consuming duties are removed. The main idea is to create an artificial plot or a building area for new one-story "houses" and then stack them on top of each other as multi-story blocks. The horizontal division of the blocks represents the plot, and each flat represents the house. We create a vertical suburban street with all the well-known qualities of such houses.

With its position on the plot, the flat creates a large, continuous terrace winding around the whole residence, representing the traditional garden. Apart from facilitating maintenance and cleaning of windows, it forms a shield against the sun as well as a projection protecting the front of the flat underneath. Moreover, it makes it possible to use the terrace for a variety of purposes, which are usually impossible on the small balconies often seen in other flats.
As the horizontal divisions are considered as plots, numerous varieties of flats are practically imaginable inside the outer frames so that the plot can be adapted to demand. The project is illustrated as a manifold palette of possibilities, but within the scope of the same idea further amendments are possible. The only limitation to the individual flat is the geometry of the «plot».

As a large visually continuous space, terraces and the common space are «floating» around the room boxes which contain the staircase/lift, bathrooms, pantry and bedrooms. All flats are designed with the common room running between «boxes of rooms». There are no space consuming or uninteresting circulation spaces but large continuous common rooms with a view and incoming light where the social life of the residents takes place. However, you will find space for privacy in the individual room boxes. The terraces are adjoining to the inner rooms, and the distinction between inside and outside is dissolved. The experience of light and distance is unique. A perforated screen will be mounted around the house and large cuttings will be made in this screen. The shelter will get the green colour from Virginia creeper, planted in basins behind the shelter and the ground around the foundation. During the summer there will be a great deal of coverage, in winter less.

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As a natural extension of the scenic idiom of the golf course, the five blocks will be built as a very cultivated, hilly and rolling «nature». In an environment of greens and bunkers each house will be built on an elevated landscape, and the houses will rise over the surroundings. Apart from improved conditions for the view and incoming light, an elevated base will be made for parking and secondary functions which will consequently not disfigure the green environment.

The project is untraditional in several ways. Not only because we are transforming a well-known type of residence – the detached house – into a stacked edition, but because we do everything that you are not allowed to do when you are planning multi-storied residential housing. Common sense often orders the «packing» of the highest possible number of flats on each floor, as it enables the sale of more flats. Moreover costs for lifts/staircases can be divided by more. We know that … But, this place and the people we would like to live there expect something different. By using the general layout suggested in this project, it is possible to enjoy the sun coming in from one side and the view from the other at the same time. It is usually said that a large surface means higher building costs. In this case it also means much higher quality of living and consequently higher sales prices.
It has been essential, however, that the project is based upon modern Danish building practice with a well-known and efficient building system which makes it realistic to build the project. Each block consists of a constructive system of elementary pillars and girders upon which are laid insulated horizontal divisions as deck elements. Stabilization is made through stairwells and lift shafts made of concrete, which are naturally continuous on all floors, just like all vertical lines.

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