PAD Inc. / Samer Hoot & Tomo Arakawa

Open shell House

source: courtesy of PAD Inc.

Located on a typical suburban lot and designed for a starter family with young children, we divided the building horizontally into two contrasting worlds. A street level volume that is more introverted and interiorized allowing for more nurturing and protective environment, and an upper space that is more open and extroverted  for expansive views and sense of openness.
The building form is manipulated to maximize views and sense of freedom, provide enhanced micro climate conditions, encourage interaction, learning and playing. We call it ‘Open Shell’ because while it displays a large degree of openness, it is also nurturing and protective.

Interior spaces are organized around 3 typologically distinct courtyards, open interconnected spaces with contrasting spacial
features, level of privacy and adjacencies. A courtyard flanked by children’s bedrooms and play area occupies a central location on the ground floor. This space is highly visible only from within the house, It is also a focal point mediating inside and outside and linking the various parts vertically. A simpler rear courtyard mediates between the master bedroom and the larger outdoors. The second floor is occupied by the more public program of the house, Living area, kitchen and a study, all directly adjacent to an open courtyard which is much like a ship’s deck, is elevated and affords views of both the surroundings and the house it self.
OS house consolidate the opposing qualities of openness and privacy, interiority and exteriority, to create spaces that foster interaction while are also nurturing, social and sustainable. It utilizes architectural form and dynamic spacial relationships to offer an environment of adventure and inspiration, it rethinks the young family life as an exciting and enjoyable journey where the house is not merely a container but also a player with personality of its own.

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