Ribbon House, London 2015
The main task for this competition was to redefine the concept of beauty applied to residential use in the context of London´s green belt areas. Another important requirement was to provide accessibility to all spaces, since one of the occupants had mobility limitations. Finally, the brief emphasised the need to build a sustainable solution.
The proposal incorporated the following definitions: beauty - excellence of its kind; giving pleasure, satisfaction, delighting the mind and senses; house - shelter, a safe place. The main goal of this project was to produce a building of excellence design, in which all domestic activities can be performed, and which is strongly connected to the surrounding environment.
For this purpose, the house is conceived as a sequence of different spaces structured along a ribbon that connects physically and visually with the landscape. This pathway is shaped as a ribbon surrounding two different courtyards, which generate a unique interior landscape, while allowing for an optimal orientation of every room.
The program is set in different levels according to a privacy gradient. This way, the private areas are placed on the bottom, shaping a plinth for the upper sculptural public part. Both are vertebrate with the “eight-shaped” spiral ramp that, while providing handicapped access to every room, connects visually with the landscape.
Another key feature of the proposal is the attention to the environmental design strategies, which make this house a sustainable building: passive heating and cooling; low energy consumption; and eco-friendly materials. The patios work as sun-catchers, allowing for natural lighting and ventilation. They also work as buffer spaces reducing heat exchanges. The double skin façade provides solar access, working as a green house for passive heating. It prevents heat losses due to the rotation of the panels that work as thermal insulation. These are built in cork to take advantage of its low environmental impact, thermal properties and expressive look. During summer days, the glass of the façades and panels can be opened to allow views and shading. During winter, the panels are folded during the day to maximize passive solar heating, and totally closed during the night to avoid heat transfers. The private area is half buried to benefit from the thermal properties of the earth. To profit from great views and to be used all year, the swimming pool is located on the rooftop. This area is a fully glazed green house, to capture solar radiation to heat up the space and the water. During summer the glass is opened and a solarium is provided.
To sum up, a singular design is proposed in order to provide an excellent domestic environment and strongly connected with the site, which makes this proposal a beautiful sustainable house.
In collaboration with