Architecture and Ceramics
studioKAP’s plot at the Scotland Housing Expo was occupied by a semidetached house. Two mirrored houses were turned 90 degrees to each other, so both entrances were off a courtyard. The vertical timber facades were painted a delightful colour, I think the girl ‘on duty’ to help explain the design called it ‘dusky grape’. The palisade continued over the large area of glazing over the entrance.
I liked the design so much because it took simple moves and just put them together elegantly. The woodburning stove was nicely set in the living area downstairs, with a small shelf next to it for logs. The kitchen was internal, you could walk through it, and it didn’t have a window. It was the only dark space in the house.
It was a feature of most of the houses at the Expo to have a bathroom, or at least a showeroom, on the ground floor. It’s pretty clear to see here that it’s a total waste of space, and you could fit two more kitchen units in there. It’s a feature of the Building Regs in Scotland that you must provide a space for a ‘future shower’ in all housing, on the accessible level. Most designers just put a dotted line around an area off the WC and label it, while it gets built as a much more useful storage space. Who needs a shower on the living level, if they can get up the stairs?
The bedrooms were not terribly big for doubles, I must say. They wouldn’t passHousing for Varying Needs standards anyway [which are a prerequsite for most Housing Associations] which stipulate room to walk around the bed, a dresser and wardrobe, with associated activity spaces. Apart from the size issue, the windows weren’t too enormous, which I think is a good thing. Some of teh house had gaping maws of windows from every room. Theer is also a sliding door between the master bedroom and a small mezzanine to the double height space, which is a very nice touch.
The extended portion of cladding was meant to lead to a two storey workshop with a bedroom over. I’m sort of pleased this hasn’t been built; in the images by the designers it looks quite huge and seems to overbalance the composition. A small structure over one storey, with a roller shutter would be my preference [and a gas supply. And a dry store. And a Clark sink.]
Although it is very small for a six person house, I think there are some clever touches here. It was very nicely detailed externally too, especially the lovely downpipes that tucked into the cladding.