The Manual: To Make a House Without Function
The current method to design a house is based on past references. Those are the elements of a personal collection of ideas that, along with location restrictions and the needs of the clients, compose the creative process. In order to create something without the disappointment of not knowing where to begin, there is a potential experimental process, that is free of any architectural rigid method, whereby everyone can achieve a personal and unique final result. Despite being a 120 hours competition entry, this experiment dared to raise primary architectural issues such as: Is this how architecture is made, nowadays?
The current method to design a house is based on past references. These references are the elements of a personal collection of ideas that along with location restrictions and the needs of the clients compose the creation process. Therefore, after understanding the request of creating a house without those constraints, it is easy to conclude that for an architect it might be a paradox to design a house without function.
In order to create something without the disappointment of not knowing where to begin, there is a potential experimental process, that is free of any architectural rigid method, whereby everyone can achieve a personal and unique final result.
At the present times, when someone is willing to do something from zero, it seems that there is an instinct of asking the internet How To. The digital dimension is progressively taking over our daily basis, instead of simply learning from a relative or a close person. In other words, the mass use of DIY (Do It Yourself) initiatives brought subsequently the online tutorials that guides people how to do everything in a few simple steps. Accordingly, our approach aims to generate a new concept for a project, providing instructions to create something unrepeatable.
Based on this last need, we adapted the words of the poet Tristan Tzara, whose written work from 1920 called “To make a dadaist poem” [Pour faire un poème dadaïste] was our own guide to organize a new set of rules that allows anyone to create unpredictable, but personal, houses.
“Take a newspaper. / Take some scissors. / Choose from this paper an article of the length you want to make your poem. / Cut out the article. / Next carefully cut out each of the words that makes up this article and put them all in a bag. / Shake gently. / Next take out each cutting one after the other. / Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag. / The poem will resemble you. / And there you are—an infinitely original author of charming sensibility, even though unappreciated by the vulgar herd.”
Regarding the following drawings, the section and the floor plan were an interpretation of the collages. The interior view, composed by fragments of architecture works consciously chosen, gives us the sensation of being under the dome of Pantheon, inside the Vals thermal space, surrounded by the Miesian marble walls. However, the exterior collage provides us different data, concerning the general programmatic organization. The Souto Moura’s roofs for the Paula Rego Museum gave us the existence of two different spaces, separated by Alvaro Siza’s door from Marco de Canavezes church. The window openings by Venturi, along with the two distinct choices for the wall materials, gave us some sense of asymmetry, whose feature has influenced the section.
This is the result of our first try. Thus, our proposal is not this singular project, rather, it is a method to create a house - or houses - without a function or a prearranged beginning. Besides, the results will never repeat themselves, hence, they will always be an resemblance of everyone’s fresher memories, whose originality might never be appreciated by the vulgar herd.