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Houses with faces

PROGRAM ︎  Semi-detached Houses

CLIENT ︎ Habitat for Humanity România

SITE︎  comuna Poduri, jud. Bacău, România

AREA︎  148 mp

STATUS ︎ Concept . Competiton  ︎ shortlisted | 2020
Architecture ︎ Ștefania Borș, Alexandra Berdan, Ancuța Costandache, Alina Andriescu

Structure ︎ Andrei Bobu 
Instalations ︎ Mihai Mahalu

TEXT ︎ Alexandra Berdan

(…) it is very difficult to define the natural, because it has multiple faces, depending on the people who practice it. (…) A house must (…) have a face. Just as man has a face.

Andrei Pleșu -  O casă trebuie să lase loc pentru mister, Casele vieților noastre

Redescovering the natural

The architecture of the houses is modeled on existing resources and works with what is already there. The gestures made specifically for the studied field result in a  simple type pf architecture, but capable of individuality.

Modestly, the houses reinterpret fragments of traditional architecture. The south windows outline their faces and look out over the garden and the sun.

The houses move away from the access alley, leaving room for a garden to the south and thus create a sense of ownership and belonging. Architecturally, the houses are composed modularly, symmetrically and totally occupy the long side of the land. The wide roof, slanted in one direction, descends to the garden, protects the lives of families and gives the houses a human scale.

Concept >

Joining Scenarios:        
Sequencing Scenarios:

Site Plan >

Simplicity in execution and efficiency in operation

The connected houses, with ground floor and partial attic, are rigorously modulated and have a clear interior organization that facilitates and streamlines the execution. Moreover, the Houses can be adapted to various coupling and sequencing scenarios.

Usual, conventional, cheap and easy to find materials are used together in easy-to-use details.

The technical solutions - advance framing superstructure plated with OSB and plasterboard, metal tile roofing, mineral wool and polystyrene thermal insulation - lead to a fast construction, an optimal material consumption and a minimum of energy.

The finishes are easy to obtain and apply - decorative plaster on the outside and washable paint on the inside, metal tile cover, laminate flooring and "salt and pepper" type tiles, rafters left visible on the eaves.

The interior ensures a pleasant temperature in hot summers, thanks to the sun protection offered by the generous eaves, the well-insulated thermal envelope, but also the location of the main openings on the south façade.

Structure Axonometry >
House Axonometry >
Facades >

Exploded Axonometry >
Natural and beautiful living

The houses with faces are simple in terms of volume and finishes, but modern and generous through the multifunctional spaces provided and the way they enjoy the sun and enter into dialogue with the trees, with the climate, with their own garden.

The living area of each home is compact and fits strictly into a square plan.

The living room and the kitchen are located in this large, modular space, where everything is at hand and where several current activities of the family can take place: food preparation, dining, working, learning, playing, resting, storage.

All service functions remain behind and thus compose a border with a protective role to the north, and the technical room can also function as a storage room with access from the outside but also a small workshop.
Floor Plan > 

Attic Plan >

The extension of the house will be done, in itself, vertically. The attic area can become an intimate place to sleep, a playground for children, or can provide additional storage space.

The houses offer the two families the opportunity to live together but separately. Dwellings are completely energy and functionally independent.

Each house receives on its side a new room, the terrace - a generous, open, bright "room", a space between the yard and the house, where family activities can take place, in the pleasant shade of the eaves.
Terrace View >

The simple gestures, together with the care for the execution, make the Houses with faces a worthy solution for the families who are in precarious living situations and dream of a house suitable for their needs. In a world where empathy has become a rare quality, we urge a natural that everyone needs to become a better version of themselves.

Interior View >

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