INDEPENDENT DESIGN RESEARCH PROJECT
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA // 1,625 SQ FT
The Shelf House is centered around the simple idea that adaptability creates efficiency. By developing an architecture that users can interact with and modify, the environment morphs throughout the day and the season as necessary.
The house wraps around a great outdoor room. Activities from the adjacent kitchen, dining, and family rooms extend into the deck. Four large custom doors open without effort to change the shape of the spaces.
The family room utilizes a media center combined with a fireplace for optimization of space. The fireplace uses the renewable energy of bio-alcohol that burns cleanly. No soot is produced so that a flue is unnecessary.
Efficiency is found in the plan by the power the inhabitants have to adjust the spaces. The office wall can open up completely toward the outdoor room when the family decides to use the room as a media space—a more public function. The office can also be combined with the adjacent space for group work, or closed off for a receiving space.
The private and public spaces flow into each other in the adaptable outdoor room that provides a connection to the garden beyond. The shelving units in the house can shuffle to create an opaque separation to the exterior or open up entirely to the surroundings.
Passive sustainable strategies enhance the quality of the spaces without complex and expensive technologies. Light shelves throughout the house bounce indirect light deep into rooms minimizing artificial lighting during the day. By rotating each unit in the shelf wall system, an unlimited variation and pattern of smaller light shelves, storage, or display is available.
The geoexchange system provides radiant heating or cooling to the concrete slab underfoot. Not only is this system more efficient and lower cost to operate than typical forced air systems, it provides a more comfortable and healthier environment.