Albert M. McDonald, an associate architect from PBC+L Architecture, just shared his winning entry for the AIA 2009 COD Competition, Listening to the Past, Looking to the Future: A House for Today. The sketch competition asked participants to design a sustainable home to replace the demolished Rachel Raymond House designed by her sister Eleanor Raymond, FAIA. The new 2,500 sq ft home would be placed on the original site using the same program brief as the original, yet it would be a contemporary interpretation and implement sustainable strategies.
The jury noted that McDonald’s proposal was ”the most thoughtful and sophisticated text considering the history of the site and the original Raymond House. This submission had the best integrated sustainable strategies in terms of the Living Building Challenge and was very thoughtfully done with the site in mind. This project created a sense of place and a place that could be enjoyed for both communal and individual experiences.”
More about the winning proposal after the break.
“Reverence derived as a response to the history as well as the current situation of the original Raymond House site using the original house as an inspirational point of departure,” explained the architect.
McDonald’s proposal to move the new home to sit slightly uphill from the original home provides views of where the Raymond House once stood. The home’s “honorific halo” of evergreen trees still encircle the original home’s void ”preserving the memory of the previous structure.” These evergreens frame the original home’s placement through a “tree corridor” but also help isolate the new home from its neighbors, instilling “a stronger sense of privacy to the inhabitants”. The placement allows the home to develop a connection with the original home and a relationship with the natural environment.
A new outdoor area, complete with a patio and reflective pool, was designed within the circle of evergreens where the original patio sat. This new outdoor area is connected to the new home by an arbor constructed of reclaimed cedar. The arbor, an extension of the new residence’s circulation system, slides underneath the trees to physically and programmatically connect the new with the old.
Learning from the original Raymond House, which was comprised of two overlapping L shaped programmatic functions, the new proposal features similar organization of spaces. In the new proposal, a “horizontal tube of space…is sliced evenly into the two L shapes…and defines the predominant public and private spaces and their respective associates spaces. The L shaped spaces slide into each other establishing visual and physical relationships to each other and the landscape.”
New sustainable systems are implemented in the proposal to create “a comprehensive strategy for responsible construction practice as well as responsible energy and resource consumption.” Solar energy practices, natural cross ventilation, photovoltaic panels that energize a rainwater cistern, and the insulating value of green roofs are a sampling of the many different systems used to create a perfect environment for the new homeowners.
All images courtesy of Albert McDonald.