Aug 10, 2013

Avocado House

Now I'm sure that when I tell you this house is inspired by an avocado, you'll think I'm absolutely insane. And maybe I am, but the crazy idea for this house kept me up one night and I just had to explore it. I focused on the progression of space as if you were walking into an avocado and the contrast between these different spaces; the skin, the flesh, and the pit.
 
 
  The front perforated metal wall, the skin, is separated from the bedroom area, the flesh, by a small courtyard. The sleeping area is separated from the living area, the pit, by another larger courtyard. 
 
 
 
In addition to drawing the floor plan of the house, I made a quick model of it out of cardboard. The site for the house would be a small city lot surrounded by high walls, so all the light comes from interior windows and skylights.  
 
 
The front wall of the house is a perforated metal skin. It represents the skin of an avocado and provides protection and privacy from the exterior environment while still letting light through.
 
 
 
  The model itself is rectangular in shape and is sliced down the center so you can open it up to see the interior spaces.
 
After passing through the metal skin, you are in a small courtyard with black lava rock and concrete benches in geometric shapes. Then, you enter through a large frosted glass and wooden door into a white adobe hallway.


The bedrooms are off this hallway, two kids' bedrooms to the left and the master suite to the right. They are lit primarily by huge skylights. The white adobe walls curve slightly, creating a very warm and cozy feeling in these spaces.
 
Back through the main hallway, it opens up to another larger courtyard. The white adobe curves away to the left and to the right is a huge living wall of plants, kind of like the photo below.
 
 
There's also a fire pit and a bench along the wall.
 

 
On the other side of the courtyard is a dark, angled wall with lots of huge windows that enclose the great room.
 
 
 
I decided to place a courtyard here to help transition between the soft bedroom space and the hard living space. It also allows for more light to come in to the living space through the large windows.
 

 
Inside the great room, the furnishings are hard and dark with lots of natural woods. The ceiling arches downward toward the back of the space, giving it an intimate feeling even though it's so large and open to the courtyard.  

 
The kitchen has modern bright green cabinets and hidden appliances to make it look bigger. 
 
 
The living room has a whole wall of storage and lots of space for relaxing. 
 
 
 
So are you ready to move into an avocado now? Well maybe not, but I hope that you've been able to follow my spatial thought process in designing this house and how I've represented the layers of an avocado in each section of the house and then expanded the relationship between them using courtyards. When I told my grandfather about my idea for this house, he was skeptical but remarked that "you don't need building codes to dream!"
 
If walls could dream... they'd dream of avocado houses.

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