Wood-Flex House > Edmonton, Canada > 2016. Infill Design Competition - People´s Choice Award

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EDMONTON WOOD FLEX HOUSE - "BRINGING THE OUTDOORS IN"

 

The Edmonton Wood-flex House directly addresses the complexities involving the narrow land area available for development, the adaptation to sustainable concepts and tools, and life and everyday living in the climate Edmonton pushes at us, with its large range in temperatures, perpetual snow for three months or more, and reduced sunlight in winter.


The house is planted in the urban rhythms and the morphology of the suburban landscape, keeping with the style of neighboring houses and adding elements of ecology and modernity to the area. It is an adaptation to the site conditions, harmonizing with the changes in the usage of spaces that it undergoes, without losing its identity.


The diverse spaces are created and enchained inside the wooden structure. The house provides equilibrium between nature and inhabitants, allowing them their independence while providing spaces for reunion and interaction. The private rooms on the second floor give a high level of privacy, while floating above the main living room, creating an expansive spacious first-floor area. 


The living green wall inside the house creates an intimate relation with the occupants and enriches the ambience of the common areas of the house without being affected by seasonal weather. It is a perpetual garden that requires low maintenance while providing added benefits. It provides relief from the dryness of the house, provoked by the dry climate and the heating system. In addition, it helps to reduce the dust particles in the air and absorbs the internal and external noises. 


The South wall, due to the transparency of the facade material chosen (polycarbonate), generates an interaction between the exterior garden and the interior house. The outside spaces (gardens, lawns, and walkways) come together, surround the house, and integrate with it. The effect produced by the wall allows the inhabitants to have a sensation of spatiality and interaction with nature outside. Dialogue and relation between spaces. Walking through the Wood-flex House generates an essential and particular experience. The space is a hybrid creating versatility.  


Wood was chosen as the primary structural material for the building. Lumber that is sustainably harvested and well protected within the building envelope can provide an important ecological function, storing carbon dioxide throughout the lifetime of the building. The main reasons to use wood are the availability and accessibility of the material at a local level and the lower carbon emissions from sustainably harvested lumber, compared to other structural material options.


The Edmonton Wood-flex House is the ideal option for different types of families. The individuality of the upper rooms gives the household the adaptability needed for single person to a family of four. Flexibility is what living requires in the present day; while we may wish to settle down, our lives are in a constant state of change. 


Nature is invited to be part of our lives, as we bring the outdoors in.

 2013 by ​O+R. Architecture & Interior Design Studio

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