photo 1WHAT_architecture 129fil_


As we survey the silicon (sillycom?) scenery outside our Old Street roundabout office window, one can spy ‘Pod‘. Good food apparently. Back in architectural wonderland, a ‘pod’ in recessionary times has the same currency as ‘blob’ did in a more opulent era. Still we are happy for the opportunity to use the experimentation divest in housing to reappraise the pod. As a family of new objects that reverberate against the old context within which they are placed.

129fil_French ‘Africa Hitech’

129fil_soundscaper Steve Spacek brings Afrika Hitech to Village Underground… http://www.villageunderground.co.uk/events/dub-sessions-vol-1




Thanks to wikipedia and google translate : “The cake is a closed eaves (the underside of eaves) formed of several rows (one to four) tile-channel cantilever on the wall. The role of the cake is a move away from the runoff of the facade as a cornice, and secondly to support the pan and continue to slope roof.”

“Génoise”  roof/recipe is from Genova, Italia,  appears in south of France in the XVII  century, it was a wall protection, a way of avoiding birds/wind in the roof,  and until Bastille Day (14 july 1789)  a social status symbol:  only one line for poor people, four and more for the rich ones.



Whilst it would be great to retain the entire original roof construction, the roofing subcontractor does not want to work on such a proposal due to safety. Furthermore, retention of all the original fabric would necessitate a raising of the roof cornice with resulting planning issues. So… the installation of a painted plasterboard ceiling will dramatically change the quality of the space which begs the question how much of the existing structure should be revealed? The existing rafters and trusses or just the trusses alone? And what colour ought the ceiling be? Once the shock of the transformation subsides, the white ceiling does provide high contrast between original and new building fabric.

See also John Pawson_Tilty Barn, Essex, 1995


Oblique Stairs hide Perpendicular Stairs within them. The Oblique Stairs are public and hide the Perpendicular Stairs which are private and visibilised in red in the diagram below. Private lives can become routine so breaks are good: this project examines the shifts in family life. Work families vs Holiday families.

Perpendicular stairs require the person using them to step with equal strides. Oblique stairs require a break: a slight shift, a shuffle, a change of routine, stepping dance, like Fred Astaire. Or James Cagney. Or Mr Bojangles… Holiday house forces you to exercise your hips./////|||||||\\\\\\/\|\\\


000OFF_Galileo Mobility Climbing stairs wheelchair


A duplex house is defined as a dwelling with separate entrances for two families. Such arrangements can be horizontally or vertically configured: two-storey houses with independent flats on each floor OR side-by-side flats sharing a common party wall. Let’s now take a closer look at each type.

With the vertically separated duplex, the plane of negotiation between the two families is the floor / ceiling. In the UK, particularly London, this has been problematic as the conversion of many single family terrace houses into smaller independent flats has lead to issues regarding noise and vibration. In the US, such a duplex is sometimes referred to as a Polish flat and were constructed in the early 20th century in two stages to balance affordability against quality. Immigrants would purchase a small house and when finances allowed would then raise the building up on jacks to create a flat beneath. While highly unorthodox, it was an ingenious technique of building new accommodations without disrupting family life, in line with their growing wealth.

With the horizontally separated duplex, the party wall is the plane of negotiation between the two families.… TBC

A third type of duplex is the house-within-a-house… Which leads us full circle back to the beginning: the first idea LOL! However we have seen that the duplex introduces a plane of social interaction / mediation / negotiation. The question is now put to, paradoxically, two individual (families) to determine the cross-fade between Party Wall, third party and having a party. The _/+ house underlines (_) the sliding negotiation (/) between adding (+) more than one family to the house. _/+

Two houses under one roof?