JDAP proposes a Microhousing solution for North Carolina, US as part of the Live / Work Micro-Dwelling Competition organised by AIA NC. The project involved an insertion of eight 'Live/Work' dwellings into the space between an existing Parking Garage and the Street.
A frugal, challenging, and exciting proposition made of the given parcel of land required a response that was both delicate and compassionate in its approach. We sought to build the Micro-Dwellings as Light Presences in the space between the existing building and the street.
The first response was to EXTEND THE PUBLIC DOMAIN of the sidewalk across the site to form a larger public meeting space, over which the Dwellings 'hover'.
Each of the eight Dwelling units is STACKED, MODULAR AND A VARIANT ON A THEME. Every unit retains an independent presence both in its level above the ground and in being separated from the adjacent unit with no shared walls. The circulation space that occupies the 'gaps' between the units acts as the Social Space of interaction between units.
PRIVACY IS GRADED - with dwellings becoming more private as they go higher. The main access level is the mid-level - where the primary engagement space is situated - the Work Space and the Social Space. Below this is the Cooking and Gardening Space, and above is the Private / Sleeping Space.
Spatial usage is made FLEXIBLE - by integrating furniture and storage elements into peripheral elements of the building, space is free to be interpreted by the inhabitants in the manner that brings them most comfort and convenience.
OPEN SPACE is given maximum priority - for inhabitants to enjoy the pleasant North Carolina climate and for spatial respite and recreation as well.
Kitchen gardens that connect to the street and Roof gardens that look over the city bring a spatial variety that is much sought after and seldom achieved in suburban dwellngs.
Dwellings are designed as NET-ZERO homes - from a completely disassemblable and reusable structural frame to a manually operable climate control skin, from maximising daylight and minimising summer heat build-up to reusing of grey water and maximising green cover.
By combining an efficient usage of urban land with a Live-Work habitat ideally suited to that particular condition, this little residential cluster at Chapel Hill, NC truly embodies a LIGHTNESS with which it engages with the city, its inhabitants, and its environment.