When designing a house for the middle class on the outskirt of a city, a big problem is how to build a living space for a small family with a limited initial investment. And the usual choice is to start by making “a half” of the house by the height (floors). Phase 1 is building the ground floor with concrete with some essential functions such as living room, kitchen, one bedroom and of course the stairs to the 2nd floor. Phase 2 (after 5 - 10 years) when there is more funding, they will complete the other half by building the second floor with two bedrooms and some other extra spaces. The Ma house is a project which we are required to design phase 1 first. We carefully considered the project’s financial issue, and we found that: instead of delineating the house by floors and implementing each phase, we divided the house into two parts: the shell and the core. The concrete shell protects the inner living space from the effects of the climate and also creates an internal connection with the external natural environment. The core includes the walls separating the inner spaces, the voids and the interiors, etc.
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