Add-on13 competition

March 18, 2013

We submitted our proposal for an affordable accessory use housing competition in Wellfleet, MA. It called for the design of a small freestanding building on the same lot than an existing home. It’s an attempt to create affordable living spaces for year-round residents which get priced out by the Summer crowd. (hello Hamptons!) The area is blessed with mid-century modernist buildings by architects like Marcel Breuer and Serge Chermayeff among many others.

More information on the competition website  and on the website of the Cape Cod Modern House Trust.

Update: We and 5 other teams were selected for phase 2 which includes a 1 week residency in one of the 2 houses of the trust this summer…very happy.

The project description:

Our design proposal seeks proximity to the modern architectural history on Cape Cod. The simple rectangular shape tries to appear weightless being cantilevered over a small base. Looking from South, the main volume is floating among the existing trees.

The facade siding creates a linearity by underlining the horizontal appear-ance. Shape and size of openings are a reaction of the relationship bet-ween inside spaces and outside surroundings. The large south facing windows capture the view across Wellfleet harbor and provide passive solar heating in winter.

A recessed balcony defines the south-west corner of the living space. Summer shading is provided through external louvres and a sun-sail above the cut out.

The two story structure is located in the rear of the property with its own private entrance separated from the main house. The concrete base occu-pies a small footprint to reduce excavation and the size of the foundation. It houses a vestibule with storage closets and the mechanical room. A single stair leads to the living and sleeping areas upstairs. The walkthrough bathroom is located next to the kitchen to simplify plumbing and could also be used to access an optional second bedroom.

The second floor structure is made out of 5-7″ thick Cross-Laminated-Timber panels making the cantilever easy to built. It creates an entrance area which could be used as a covered outdoor area or a car-port. The proposed building shell is well insulated with 6″ of mineral wool, all joints are sealed with airtight tape.

For heating and cooling we propose a small ductless air-to-air heat pump.

Fresh air is supplied by one pair of oscillating through-wall fans with heat recovery. Rain water is collected at the back wall and used for flushing, washing and gardening. Hot water is provided by an electric heat-pump water heater.

This simple, small and affordable free-standing dwelling unit combines minimalistic modernism with sustainability and green technology.


thanks to Raimund Koch

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