139 House in the Bahamas 巴哈馬住宅

2009 (competition 競賽) | Nassau, The Bahamas 巴哈馬拿騷
Team Lee Shu-fan, Ching Wai-keung, Hung Chi-tai
設計 李樹勳, 程偉強, 熊子泰
We consider that there are two major challenges to this project. The first one is how to organize and exploit the breathtaking scenery and interesting varieties of features inherent in the ample site in a simple and powerful gesture. The second being the delicate treatments of the privacy of each of the extended families within the house and yet transparent and permeable enough to encourage interactions and enjoyments of the site features. This two seemingly conflicting ideas, one public and open, the other one private and meditative, pose a major creative challenge for a single coherent structure as sought. In order to solve the problems, the design not only has to deal with the internal organization as sought for a typical house, it also calls for a sensitive approach to react to the external forces presented by the site.
We proposed an elongated structure parallel to the ocean line to maximize the views, sunlight, and wind flow. The required volume is stretched to the ends into three major volumes each containing an independent yet connected apartment. In between the three volumes sit the various public areas serving different purposes, such as pool, terraces, and circulation lobbies, according to site features. The volume is also elevated and depressed sectionally according to the topography to accommodate functions and provide privacies as required. The ‘In-between’ public spaces are carefully located to respond to different features of the site, making the best use of land resources given such as the leveled ground left by the previous house as an outdoor gathering area.
The volume is further topped by a specially designed funnel shaped roof structure to serve several purposes. It helps to collect rain water for recycling use down to the toilets and utilities areas below, and it also enhances wind flow through the internal space to save energy. Its shapes also accentuate the views to the ocean side and beyond while inside. On the external surfaces of the house a continuous screen with operable sliding tracks are installed to block excessive sunlight on a hot day, while maintaining privacy and keep off insects when desired. It affords the house with a semi-translucent qualities that resembles a veil which may glitter or glow according to the weather. Material wise, roughened cement concrete finish with local sand aggregates can be used to achieve a more natural and indigenous ambience.
A house sized dwarfed by an immense site is not necessarily an idle object in space. It can reach beyond its own contained volume reaching out to embrace the land far beyond its physical reach. This house not only sits firmly on its site, it also attempts to respond to the forces inherent in the site, serving functions not only from within, but also from without the house.