The HOC is a schematic design for a small (2,000sf) house in Portland, OR. Architecture W design exploration began with using children’s wood blocks to explore simple concepts of space and light and shade, whilst concurrently thinking of Mies’ experimental Brick and Concrete houses. The project builds upon the modern movement’s legacy of an architecture built on an honest expression of material, structure, and strong ties to the landscape. The House of Cards uses the building blocks of architecture; using plan and section to explore the interplay of volumes and spaces, both inside and out.
The House of Cards uses structural solid wood panels, one of the most renewable materials taking the least amount of energy to produce, to provide the interior and exterior finish, moisture protection, insulation, and structure. Stacking the panels organically, the concept frames views into the landscape or bends the panels onto themselves, reaching out to enclose portions of the landscape while embracing the interplay of shadow and light. With no distinction between interior or exterior walls, the design strategy allows creative interpretation of space, volume, and architectural expression while incorporating passive strategies of cross ventilation, shade, and thermal mass.
With a designed life span of over 100 years, the wood panels form a lasting structure in which the glass and energy systems which can be replaced and updated as newer, more efficient technologies come online. The site design uses native foliage to reinforce the architectural connection to the landscape while collecting and storing all water through a series of bioswale terraces.