Sodium Design

Waterloo(p) House
Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia
Project Designed with Marc Snyder + Tim Lucci

Self-sufficient architecture begins with an intimate knowledge of a particular place. Architecture, thus, can transform our awareness by making nature visible in and around our building, physically engaging it in our everyday actions. Natural cycles should dictate both active and passive technological solutions, therefore establishing an architectural form based on natural function. The dwelling becomes a transparent, interactive object intertwined with its natural context physically establishing a connection between the user and nature.

Self-sufficient architecture ultimately becomes an expression of a symbiotic interaction of natural cycles and human activity. It is necessary to adopt a bioclimatic design approach that will produce a well-balanced and diversified architectural solution. By engaging in processes that regenerate rather than deplete we can begin an intimate bio-mimic dialog in which the building becomes a vehicle for interaction and expression between the user and nature. Essentially, we can create a retreat from the typical residential experience by creating a spirit of place inextricably connected with the natural rhythms of the site.

Understanding that architecture should be the built expression of our dialog with context, and that residential architecture is a medium for personal expression, we believe that a self-sufficient dwelling should do nothing less than enhance the quality of human and natural space by merging the two. Fundamentally, the employment of passively responsive technologies enables the user to control the architecture in response to natural patterns, therefore establishing a pattern of interaction that is defined by the occupant’s physical dialog with context. The building becomes a tool that will enhance the experiential qualities of the human occupied space while giving back to the site. We want to promote regeneration, and through proper acquisition and allocation of essential resources and waste products the building becomes “food” in the existing nutrient cycle.