Let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
House of Four, London UK
Year: 2014 – 2017 (under construction)
House of Four is a home for a young couple and their 2 children – although is a more than a building for four people; containing man-woman, girl-boy, husband-wife, mother-father, son-daughter, sister-brother, and the dynamics between.
The building enlivens these relationships with a diverse layering of spaces, volumes, roofs and floor plates, counteracting the constraints of a compressed urban site, and the flattening capacity of the family unit.
The house is overlooked from all sides and above, and excavated and trimmed to fit between neighbours.
At ground level, this consists of a brick podium sunken to the height of adjoining garden walls, containing living and entertaining areas.
Over the podium, 3 stepped volumes create 4 different floor areas for more private activities. The 3 volumes appear to nest one-within-the-other, squeezing in an additional mezzanine level despite height controls.
Internally, split floor plates and winding staircases allow activities to intermingle, while ensuring the space-in-togetherness.
The design has a civic presence that addresses the neighbourhood, and a landscape character associated with surrounding garden greenery. Its handcrafted qualities express the Clients’ own design backgrounds, combining motifs of embroidery and pleating, with carpentry and woodsmanship.
House of Four challenges traditional family hierarchies, encouraging 4 family members to share their independent and interdependent lives, under one – and several – roofs.
Undercurrent Architects : Didier Ryan, Tao Gatto, Yoko Chang
Eckersley OCallaghan Engineers : Brian Eckersley, Toby Reynolds, Roberto Mirabella
Evoke Projects : Dan Sawicki
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