Built initially as proto-structure (primary construction) during a 5-day workshop in April, HOUSE 1 is a 11m x 11m x 11m balloon-frame timber construct holding the ‘genetic code’ for future developments. The project involved over 200 students, who worked in groups under the close guidance of 12 studio directors and the wood engineer Rémy Meylan.
Architects: ALICE Studio Architect
Location: Lausanne, Switzerland
Area: 121.0 sqm
Project Year: 2016
Photographs: Dylan Perrenoud, ALICE EPFL, Alessandra Ortelli, Aloys Mutzenberg
Team: 1st year students (2016)
Lead engineer timber construction:Rémy Meylan, architect & wood engineer Whood x Mug
In succession, each team was asked to design and realize a ROOM (a space intended for HABITATION), or a TRANSITIONAL SPACE providing CONNECTIVITY (porch, stairs, doorway).
The boundaries that divide studio projects are blurry zones of negotiation over space, culture, and ideas. Accordingly, each project is strongly influenced by the others as it enters a multilayered discourse with its surroundings. The spatial experience of HOUSE 1 is therefore not that of a homogenous architecture; rather, it is an unfolding evolution of a space that invokes questions, contains possibilities, and is open for interpretation.
Alexa den Hartog, one of the 12 studio directors responsible for making HOUSE 1 a feasible project, characterizes the proto-structure and its process of inhabitation as a “restricted physical and temporal – ever changing – landscape that only slowly solidified”. To quote Dieter Dietz, HOUSE 1 reveals its final form “not as something that is done from the top down but something we share.”
After four months of frenetic work and strong engagement, the project has been recently completed and is now open to visitors on the EPFL campus next to the Rolex Learning Center.
ALICE TEACHING UNIT
An active unit of EPFL-ENAC, Prof. Dieter Dietz’s ALICE laboratory pursues research activities that place space as the interface between humans, and technological and built processes. ALICE engages in research through three main vehicles: 1) research through design; 2) interdisciplinary fundamental research; 3) the development and implementation of innovative teaching methodologies at Bachelor and Masters level.
ALICE strives for collective, open processes and non-deterministic design methodologies, driven by the will to integrate analytical, data based approaches and design thinking into actual project proposals and holistic scenarios. Research and teaching are conducted in close proximity, in a design- research perspective.
The lab engages in developing and building full-scale, installation-size artefacts, as well as inventing new types of ephemeral structures for social and cultural events.
In parallel, fundamental research is conducted by ALICE’s team of scientists and doctoral candidates who pursue inquiries at the meeting point of architecture, urban thinking and social sciences, with the same focus on the human, collectively shared dimension of society and it’s potential in space-making processes.The ALICE team consists of a group of young architects and researchers, scientists and doctoral candidates from Europe and abroad.