chitect, Richard Librach, Custom home, Greater Toronto Area, New home, Renovation, Design-build, Toronto GTA, Ontario"> Mod256 2010 DreamHome | The Idea
Mod256 2010 DreamHome Sub Drawing 1

The Idea

Mod256 2010 DreamHome Drawing 1

1. Understanding the “Dream Home”

What is a dream home, really? We explored different facets of what a dream home could be including the freedom of expression, customization, and aspirations. We considered a systems approach - a recipe, for the lack of a true client. As well, we looked at materiality, eco-efficiency, human scale and proportion. These were the beginnings in our search for a full understanding of what is today’s idea of a dream home.



Mod256 2010 DreamHome Drawing 2 2. Identify Challenges

Time
The National Home Show only allows for an intensive 7-day build and take down in 2.

Site
We had to work with the exhibition hall’s existing structures and consider the dimensions of the loading dock entrance.

Re-use
In the past, dream homes were discarded after the show without much thought of re-using the structure that has been built. We felt the need to be ecologically responsible. Our dream home needed to have a life beyond the show.

Transporation
The dream home was going to be built offsite. Trucking the home meant considering the size the transport could hold.

Furthermore, there was no real client who can define their needs and wants. We were in a search of a program.



Mod256 2010 DreamHome Sub Drawing 2 Mod256 2010 DreamHome Drawing 3 3. Search for the Size

Typically, prefab dwellings are created at 8 feet by the length of the transport or containers for obvious practical reasons. We started to explore other possibilites. What is the approriate size for a module?

In our search for the perfect size, we started to consider stock lumber (8 ft.) and sheet goods (4x8, 4x10, 4x12) before we arrived at our unique vertical dimension: 2’x8’ = 16’.

Complimented with varying heights of 8’, 10’ and 12’, the 16’x16’ module would satisfy functions within a home and meet aesthetic goals.

The word structure here is used to designate an organic form, an organization in a very definite manner of parts or elements into a larger untiy - a vital whole. So, in design, that element which we call its structure is primarily the pure form, an organization in a very definite manner of parts or elements into a larger unity - a vital whole as arranged or fashioned and grouped to “build” the Idea: an idea which must always persuade us of its reasonableness....But there is a psychic correlation between the geometry of form and our associated ideas, which constitutes its symbolic value.

There resides always a certain “spell-power” in any geometric form which seems more of less a mystery, and is, as we say, the soul of the thing....certain geometric forms have come to symbolize for us and potently to suggest certain human ideas, moods, and sentiments - as for instance; the circle, infinity; the triangle, structural unity; the spire, aspiration; the spiral, organic progress; the square, integrity....we do sense a certain psychic quality which we may call the “spell-power” of the form, and with which the artist freely plays, as much at home with it as the musician at his keyboard with his notes.

- Frank Lloyd Wright, Essential Texts
"The Japanese Print: An Interpretation"
Edited by Robert Twombly , 2009 W.W. Norton and Company



Mod256 2010 DreamHome Sub Drawing 3 Explored Positive and Negative ground
Explored Positive and Negative
ground
4. Search for the Form

Upon discovering our square module, we explored it’s additive and subtractive possibilites. We started to arrange home functions in appropriate relationships. Created orientation and spatial focus.

Architecture is the making of meaningful spaces.

It is the composition of elements, which comes from form. Form is the distinction of the inseparable elements. If you take one of them away, you do not have the atmosphere you expect from architecture.

- Louis Kahn, Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture
by Christian Norberg-Schulz, Rizzoli New York, 1984



Mod256 2010 DreamHome Drawing 5 5. Create the Connection

Then it was time to start linking the modules, to create opportunities that maximize sun and solar exposure, access to wind and cross breeze, maximize interior and exterior views.

It was also a time to create cluster considerations for below ground utlities ensuring optimal functionality.




Mod256 2010 DreamHome Drawing 6 6. Add Windows and Doors

An entrance point was selected. Windows of 4’x8’ dimensions were used once, twice or thrice based on the best orientation and circulation.




7. Add Roof Slopes and Overhangs

The choice of roof style was influenced by several practicalities and aspirations such as water run and rentention, solar gain, or ability to hold a green roof.

An independent roof package was developed due to transporation constraints - as a result, a seamless connection to the base module was also vital.

Mod256 2010 DreamHome Sub Drawing 4

Mod256 2010 DreamHome Drawing 7



8. The Finish

Charles Sheeler, Barn Abstraction, 1918
Charles Sheeler, Barn Abstraction, 1918
We employed our firm’s design philosphy:
Limit palette, explore material possibilities, use scale, texture and colour - all in a harmonious, contemporary composition.

For the exterior, considerations were to choose simple, local materials, and minimize waste.

For the interiors, tilt-up finish panels were designed for time efficiency, cost and quality control as well the ability to apply unlimited design possibilities.



  • Lap Siding / James Hardie /Coble Stone JH40-10 Lap Siding
    James Hardie
    Coble Stone JH40-10
  • Panel / James Hardie / Artic White JH10-20 Panel
    James Hardie
    Artic White JH10-20
  • FCP Vertical / James Hardie / Reglet Metals / Clear Anodized Finish FCP Vertical
    James Hardie / Reglet Metals
    Clear Anodized Finish
  • Standing Seam Roof / Agway Metals / Andex Metal Products Ltd. / Charcoa Standing Seam Roof
    Agway Metals / Andex Metal Products Ltd.
    Charcoa



  • Siding / Goodfellow - Smartside / Cedar Siding
    Goodfellow - Smartside
    Cedar
  • Paint / Benjamin Moore / Lyons Red CC-68 Paint
    Benjamin Moore
    Lyons Red CC-68
  • Paint / Benjamin Moore / Baby Fawn OC-15 Paint
    Benjamin Moore
    Baby Fawn OC-15
  • Paint / Benjamin Moore / White Heron OC-57 Paint
    Benjamin Moore
    White Heron OC-57



  • Unknown / Unkown / Unknown IPE, Fibron Decking
    Goodfellow
  • Unknown / Unkown / Unknown Exterior railing colour
    ETP Metals Products