Friday, 17 December 2010

A House for Europe

A Holiday home for Leaders of the EU

UK Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha use the house to host various leaders of EU countries on talks with the UK. It is through the duality of the house and contested living conditions the talks are resolved.

The building’s programme is mirrored across centre creating seemingly equal halves to be occupied by the two leaders. The linear positioning of each element of home life leads to confrontation and negotiation within its use, the leaders having to share all aspects Within the technique a non visual line is created, defining the territories of each party; it is the crossing of this divide, challenging the given territories which interests me.

The façade appears as a modern reinterpretation of the English 30’s Semi Detached House; the apparent domestic frontage of supreme power. The Rammed chalk construction is a mirror of the white cliffs the house sits upon; creating an elevation of contrasting ideas of false visual representation. Behind the façade sits a slim building, clad in vertical Planted walls with reflective glass mirroring the trees and landscape around.

Draft Ground Floor Plan

Draft First / Roof Floor Plan and Elevation

Draft Section

Chris Simmons

1 comment:

  1. Seems like a strong idea and there is much to enjoy here.

    The issue of 'duality' lies at the heart of the project, but could be stronger. The fact that this duality is 'visual', or, to be more exact, conceptual rather than actual is a slight problem at the moment. For instance, both visitors and hosts enter through a single front door, use a single staircase etc. To what extent then could the house be said to be 'split'? Perhaps there should be a doubling of everything or a more physical sense that negotiation needs to take place?

    At the moment, if you take away your line of bilateral symmetry it's actually one house with one set of functional elements, no different in fact from an ordinary house where the guests would share the same facilities as the owners!

    The rammed chalk, false facade are all good.

    The planning is too 'normal'- i.e. why doesn't the pool run the whole length of the house? Why isn't everything located along the central spine so that it is 'split'?

    What is the facade aligned with? What determines the exact position of the house on the site?

    Why do you enter from the cliff side?

    The Robin Evans essay should be particularly useful to you....

    A good start though which could be explored some more to make it more powerful and spatially richer.

    Finally, you might like this: