Understanding the dynamic nature of living today, the program of the house emerges from the basic premise to design for a range of possibilities that directly respond to the diverse ways in which a rural house may be reformatted based on seasons, economies, and urgencies. It is a typological study on how a single device may bring varied possibilities to the same structure: a single staircase that winds around the periphery of the stacked single-room structure.
The staircase in the peripheral zone defines a poché zone of five feet, using the diagonal of the stair to define areas of program below and above its rake. As such, the house is virtually exempt from corridors, as each inch of space is programmed with added beds in the thick wall between the central room and the external skin. While thought of as a three-room home, the poché spaces offer wide flexibility, housing anywhere from three to fifteen people without much complexity. Three bedrooms could as easily be redefined as three families, three apartments, or three Airbnb’s.
The external skin is composed of sustainable pre-fabricated cross-laminated timber panels with a system that eliminates thermal bridging, allowing the house to benefit from the most passive engagement of both cooling and heating strategies. Meanwhile, the inner walls set inside the stair are conceived of as a balloon frame system—hollow, as it were—to allow space for the infrastructure of the entire house.