Sliding Canvas House: Transitional Home






TITLE

Sliding Canvas House: Transitional Home


STUDENT   Samantha Geibel

Washington State University



FACULTY SPONSOR  

Taiji Miyasaka
Washington State University



DESCRIPTION   The aim for the project was to design a transitional home for someone who is currently homeless. The site is located in the backyard of a house in Seattle, Washington. The project size had to be less than 800 sf to follow the DADU zoning laws. This house is approximately 600 sf and occupies a 2,000 sf backyard, but can transition to engage with the entire site. Going from living on the streets to living in the backyard of someone’s home is a big transition. There are a few ideas that I learned throughout my study of people who are struggling with homelessness. The main concepts that stood out to me were the importance of being a part of a community, and the therapeutic aspect of art. It is well known that art is a form of therapy for some, and can help people who are transitioning through any aspect in their lives. There are already many non-profit organizations that assist the homeless that incorporate art into their daily programs as a way for the community to become more engaged. Not only do these programs help the homeless feel more engaged, but gives people who are homeless a way to express themselves and feel recognized for it. The aim for my design was to somehow incorporate these concepts into the home while still maintaining the ideas of a traditional house. To meet both of these needs The Sliding Canvas House features 7 operable wall systems. Just like the people who are occupying it, the house transitions to meet the comfort levels and needs of the tenant. When all of the walls are closed the house is your typical home, featuring the bedrooms and bathroom on the north end while the living room and kitchen are on the south end. Since there are 7 independent walls systems there are a variety of ways to transform the house into something new, depending on the activity. When the front walls are open the house can function as a space for a small gathering with friends. Once the walls are open the two interior walls can slide out to provide a private space for meetings or art classes in the neighborhood. Not only do the two interior walls provide privacy but they can also provide a space to display art work or even to be used as a canvas themselves. The Sliding Canvas House provides a space for the surrounding houses to come together and engage with the new tenant, and each other, giving them a sense of community. Since the walls are adaptable to the tenants wants, the house can simply function as a house until the tenant is ready to open their home to the neighborhood or become a space to engage in community activities.



Affordable Housing for the 21st Century: A Housing Solution for Poverty in the Neglected Mississippi Delta





TITLE

Affordable Housing for the 21st Century: A Housing Solution for Poverty in the Neglected Mississippi Delta


STUDENT  

Zachary Henry
Mississippi State University



FACULTY SPONSOR  

Emily M. McGlohn
Mississippi State University



DESCRIPTION  

Twenty-two percent of Mississippi residents receive incomes that fall below the nation’s poverty line. This affordable housing prototype is designed for the 21st century and the families that will occupy it. It is a home that responds directly to the climatic conditions of the Mississippi Delta, while also responding to the families that live there.

The families that are scattered throughout the Mississippi Delta are comprised of multiple family members. It is not uncommon to see a family that consists of single parents, multiple children, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. 

Eastmoor Estates, a neglected subsidized neighborhood in Moorhead, Mississippi, was chosen as the site for the project. 

The home is placed and oriented on the specific site in relation to the winds, rainfall, and sunlight angles. A structural gird is implemented that is appropriate for building only one room and a hallway wide, along with building techniques relating to the locally available materials and skills. This allowed for a narrow floor plate that would allow for the maximum amount of cross ventilation and natural lighting. Clearstory windows were inserted under roof soffits on the southern side, and clearstory voids were positioned above interior partitions. Visor-like overhangs and external fin like sun blades tuned to the correct length and angle were used to manage the amount of southern light coming into the building throughout the year. They allow for full sunlight to penetrate the façade in wintertime, and allow no sunlight in during the summer. The glazing in combination with the external blinds and overhangs allows the inhabitant to control how much light comes in throughout the year. The floor system is a concrete floor that acts a thermal mass, so it naturally cools the house in the summer, and heats it in winter. 

Innovative active systems and insulation have been used to ensure the home leaves a small carbon footprint, as well as saving the homeowner money throughout the life of the building. These systems include wool insulation, high-density foam, hydronic radiant floor heating, led lighting, and water efficient fixtures. Even though some of these require higher upfront costs, the owner will see savings of roughly nine hundred dollars on an annual basis. 

The home was designed with two zones: one for sleeping and one for living. The sleeping zone features three small bedrooms with walls that fully open up to the activated hallway where their closets are located. This idea was to encourage as much of their time as possible out of their bedroom. In contrast to the smaller areas in the sleeping zone, the living zone is completely open and free of columns. This allows for an activated family experience to fully interact with each other. This dwelling was designed to work with all types of family, seeing that the family structure is continually changing in our day and age. 

Hopefully with the cooperation of the inhabitant, the logic at work will enable the dwelling to take its place in the natural environment that we are constantly invading.