In the fifth phase of the ALICE program ROOMS we are going to create interiors. These creations will be defined by multiple limits to form different spaces with fixed dimension. Everyone will be confronted by the same limits. The only thing that will vary from individual to individual is the perception of the created interiors. Some may find more use for a certain room while others feel more comfortable in the next room. This is strongly dependent on our perception.
The questions I asked myself were in relation with how our vision impacts our perception.
Does the feeling we experience from a room change with a change of vision?
Is the angle of view crucial to our level of comfortableness?
There are several ways to play with the vison. Some involve movement like walking around and changing the point of view when other changes are more stationary for example changing the floor level. My project will focus on the second situation and play with the eyelevel. Unlike the common western approach where the floor is risen by adding objects on top, I would like to lower the floor.
This will be achieved by descending squared holes into the ground. By sinking into the floor, the often-presumed lower limit will be questioned.
I came over a type of traditional Japanese table called horigotatsu, at which people sit on the floor but the table has a recessed floor beneath it to create space for the legs. This was purely used as inspiration. Going deeper into the Japanese culture would bust the frame of my project.
By going through different pictures of Horigotatsu variations this one picture did stand out. On the first look I saw a family dining at the Horigotatsu-style table using the ground to keep the room opener. In my eyes the room as a whole gets bigger and it doesn’t close you in as much. At a second look I saw the kid under the table. I can only make assumption why he decided to crawl in there. Be it to hide, to play or just following his instincts without any particular purpose in mind. The only thing I can tell for sure is that with his action gave the recessed floor a whole new meaning. It was no longer just the limit of the primary room it itself became a room. Not an independ room on it its own more like a complimentary room but still a room with its own limits and characteristics which allows that its function adapts to each individual.
Inspired by this (in my eyes) unorthodox usage of the ground I want to give the floor of my project an important thickness to create space to allow new rooms to be created. They can be used independently to the primary room but also as a tool to explore the general feeling of the main room above.
For this I started by making 4 holes and adapting the depth of each by taking my body as referential measuring tool.
A: 180cm eyelevel
B: 120cm belly
C: 60cm knees
D: 25cm optimal distance between table and chair to sit comfortably
By lowering 4 holes in the floor, one independent of the other, the project was divided in 4 different parts. By adding a fifth layer, shortening the distance between the different layers and by connecting the holes this lack of fluency could be solved.
The distance of 50cm serves on one hand so the visitor has to make an effort to change from layer to layer, and on the other hand with only few layers an important thickness can be gained.
By introducing this new parkour, the system of the layers had to adapt from a box-like system to a more plane-based system. This helped to put a bigger focus to the thickness of the floor.
On each level exists the same grid but with different squares to be filled.
The parkour provides a play of vision on one hand and on the other hand it creates different possibilities to use the room.
The layers were all placed on lateral supports on the side of the protostructure. The support of the lowest level is a close replicate of the protostructure while the intermediate levels take advantage of a lighter version of the same principle.
A vertical element could improve the fixation of the layers.
The crossing joists sometimes closed out certain parts of the parkour, so they had to be cut and replaced by vertical elements. These poles also facilitated the placement of the main floor since they offered new places to ad joists.
The proto structure had to be cut between the two cells since it blocked the passage. To retake the efforts a pole (replicate of the protostructure) was placed right beside.
The holes changed the vision of the floor itself, the perception of the room, the other projects and the environment and added important characteristics to an often-untouched element of the room.
We were asked to bring an object which we connect to the feeling of being at home. For me this would be a pillow. Besides its decorative character it symbolizes support and coziness. There exists a saying in the German language: “Wie man sich bettet, so liegt man.” A suitable translation would be: “You made your bed, now sleep in it.” Using this as a starting point I had in mind to create a room where people feel at home or at least comfortable enough to sit down. Sitting down stops us from moving. We intend to stay for at least a short moment otherwise we would not bother sitting down and would stay standing with the intention to continue our journey. “Take a seat make yourself comfortable.” Is an expression commonly used to give a visitor the feeling that he is welcome. Often continued by “feel yourself at home”. And that is exactly the intention of my project. I want the visitors to feel at home, to give them a place where they can escape the hectic of the city life and be calm and enjoy the beautiful site we call “Mangrove” with its nature. A place where harmony, well-being and relaxation fills back up our energy, so we can continue our day with a refreshed feeling. Furthermore, it should be a place that is suitable to enjoy it alone but has also the possibility to use it as a hangout place for groups.