ShutterHOUSE

Date Completed: October 2010
Category: Live

The competition brief called for a re-evaluation of the requirements of shelter by way of a fully functioning residence for 1-2 people in a meager 10 square meter foot print with a height limitation of 4m.

The ShutterHOUSE provides a reclusive retreat that has a tenuous connection back to the world in which it exists. Lifted from the ground, the house can be completely closed off to the external world through the operable shutters that cover the windows and entry. Or, the shutters can be opened to provide an openness that combats what might otherwise be a somewhat claustrophobic space. The entry shutter opens up and down to provide ramped access to the structure, a protective awning above the entry as well as a strong connection back to the outside. The window shutters operate similarly to a blind, albeit on the exterior of the building as an integrated part of the cladding system. Thus provided a segmented connection to the exterior. By way of furthering the reclusiveness of the residence, a small enclosed garden takes up about one half of the roof area that is accessed by way of a ladder on the outside. Providing a private outdoor retreat to the occupant.

The ShutterHOUSE shuns the standards of society not only in its smallness and reclusiveness, but also by removing itself from the utility grid. Electricity is provided by solar panels on the roof. Water is supplied from an underground cistern that collects rain water from the roof. Heat comes from a 15gal steel barrel converted into a wood burning stove. Sewage is dealt with, at least in part, by way of a self-contained composting toilet. Cooling is provided for passively by way of strategically positioned operable windows. Namely an awning window in the sleeping loft and double hung windows elsewhere. These windows are, in turn, shaded from direct sun by way of the operable window shutters that can be adjusted to provide the desired level of shading.