The Moonbeam house tells a story of dualities, and the relationship and mediation of these dualities in the forms and spaces of the house. The architectural language is scripted on a dialogue between extroverted space and introverted space, open and enclosed spaces, as well as between old and new forms in the house. The planning concept is that of two main blocks, one in the front of the property and one in the back. The more extroverted block in the front is an existing semi detached building that sits like a solid object within a new translucent envelope made of steel frames and steel mesh. This is contrasted with the rear, more introverted block which is a completely new structure that is an internalized space wrapped and protected on all sides by solid walls, services and staircases.
The house is designed for a husband and wife. The husband feels more comfortable in his enclosed A/V room while the wife is a designer who works from home and wanted and airy open loft space to work within. Mostly, the rear portion of the house is meant for the husband and the front loft space is for the wife. The house provides for the specific personalities of the couple, as well as for their private time apart and their time together.
The design inspiration is a result of the oppositions that exist in the project. The language and forms also reflect these oppositions. Here, the lightweight ephemeral quality of the mesh, like folded origami is contrasted with the rear block which is inspired by the language of solid sculpted rock.
The project is an exploration of new responses to tropicality. Both front and rear blocks respond to the hot and humid climate by wrapping themselves in a layer that creates an insulating buffer between inside and out. The rear block is wrapped with solid walls and services and the window openings are protruded deeply into the mass of the block, creating protection from the heat as well as a new “in between” space that feels carved out of the thickness of the walls. The front block is a solid block that is wrapped by a veil of steel mesh, again creating a different type of “in between” space that is light and windy. In the afternoons, the side wall of the house is in shadow and the mesh cools down faster than the air. When wind passes through the open mesh the cold metal cools the air around it and brings down the internal temperature a few degrees lower than the external, passively cooling the house itself.
We always find it important to plan for how the space can evolve with time and with the changing conditions of the inhabitants so that the lifespan of the construction can be increased. We also believe in customizing the home to the specific needs and personalities of its owners and to the relationship of the building in its context.