Barcode housing system
View from interior of barcode house 3 to neighborhood beyond
Barcode house 1: covered deck, front barcode house 2: 2nd floor deck, front
Barcode house 5: covered deck, rear center barcode house 6: 2nd floor deck, rear center
Barcode house 9: detached office slice barcode house 10: detached bedroom slice
Barcode housing system
Atlanta / USA, 2007
Descriptionbarcode housing system
housing strategy proposed for the 2007 Decatur Modern Design Challenge, 2007 AIA.LA Next LA Citation Award
Don’t look different; BE different.
The barcode housing system offers flexible and open living within an extremely narrow building envelope while producing coherent and varied neighborhood arrangements. In contrast to typical single-family residences that may look different but function identically, the barcode houses look similar but they each behave differently. Rather than wrap the same plan in differently themed styles, the barcode houses sponsor and support diverse lifestyles.
slices of life
Each barcode plan consists of sixteen modules, 16’ wide and 3’-3” deep. Modules are conjoined, or deployed individually, in depth (N-S) to produce varied program slices: living, dining, kitchen, bedroom, office, balconies, covered outdoor areas, upper level decks, light wells, storage, service (bathrooms, stairs, laundry, HVAC), and so on. Each slice is wrapped on its E and W sides, as well as any exposed underside or top, with a single material: wood, metal, shingles, tile, stucco, stone, laminated glass, etc. Slices are enclosed on all exterior N-S interfaces by walls of glass developed for air, light, view and circulation. On the interior, slices are separated by solid walls, casework, or, in desired circumstances, remain open to one another.
Slices can be shuffled in plan and section to accommodate a diversity of lifestyles, while maximizing both privacy and permeability: front office or rear guest suite separated from the main body of the house, covered front porch, upper level front balcony, extensions of living and dining into the exterior, and so on. Similarly, the material palette can be assigned to specific slices as desired, generating both individual identity and collective neighborhood coherence. Rather than superficially theming domestic organizations that remain standardized, the barcode house generates diverse moods through precise and multiple arrangements of activity and material. The barcode house encourages the pleasure of diverse lifestyles by amplifying the cool discipline of modernism with the relaxed excesses and materials of contemporary culture. Beinahe nichts meets la dolce vita.
Outside the building envelope, slices can be continued into the front and rear setbacks through the addition of optional covered eating areas, outdoor storage units, water features, pools, diverse planting areas, etc. While each house is organized in depth (N-S) through its unique and specific coding of lateral life slices (E-W), the overall development is organized by a series of parallel bands running N-S: e.g., hedge, walkway, living zone, and so on, generating, almost by accident, a rich and varied neighborhood pattern as it is scanned east to west. A common building system and site strategy engenders diverse platforms for individual and collective living.
The usual effect of increasing residential developments is more of the same.
In contrast, the formula of neighborhood scan-scapes is: more barcodes = more difference.
(ALL Renderings: P XS)