A response to the Add-On Competition for affordable housing in the town of Wellfleet, MA.
Created In collaboration with Lou Wright
The Sled uses a careful modulation of of space and mass to find a coherent living condition in between. Considering and reinterpreting Cape Cod's mixture of adventurous Modern residential designs and traditional housing forms, this proposal fosters a place to sleep, eat, think, and play. Using the building blocks of heat and water, it elevates the utilities of the house from prosaic infrastructure to poetic formal elements.
The base of the house is a concrete foundation that supports radiant floor heating. At its heart is a large block that serves as the core of the heating system, and organizes the spiral flow of the plan. The hub punctures the floor plate and extends into the interior, supporting active and passive kitchen uses: a large communal surface, cooktop, vegetable storage, a wood stove and a small refrigerator and freezer.
To compliment the heat coming from the center, the Sled manages rainwater from the large split-pitch roof, redirecting it to a cistern for greywater and gardening use. The slope of the roof also helps to demarcate public and private space, with a pinched elevation in the back of the house and a more open profile in the main space. The walls are thickened to keep the house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. This thickness provides opportunities for integrating countertops, storage, workspace, and reading nooks.
When arranged in a cluster with other Sleds, the strategy thrives on negative space (rather than hard connections) to create a living system of four-home units. Two versions of the plan - mirror images of one another - work together to create a micro-climate and collect rainwater for a communal garden.