The Culmination of my Happy Bubble

After a very intense few weeks, I had finally entered my final week for this design- the design of my new childhood home that provoked old memories, and employed architecture and imagination to create new memories and experiences. Taking the concept of memory-arousing smells further, my childhood home has been designed in a way to integrate crucial fragrances from my existing childhood home into this new design. This final week of the exercise helped me gain further clarity about the nature of inhabitation and other details in my house such as the spatial relations, volumetric dimensions, and nature of inhabitation of spaces.

Though challenging to draft initially, the orthographic drawings helped me understand my design better in terms of the alignment of columns on top of each other, and how the openings in the walls served different functions depending on their size. Given that the scale of the drawings was also increased to 1:50, I studied and drafted more details such as level drops and fenestration details. By rendering different spaces with varying shades of grey, it also became much easier to read the drawings and understand their relative distances from where the section lines had been cut. To increase the readability of the drawings, I added humans and vegetation to understand the nature of inhabitation and to give an idea of how each space would be used without the use of text.

Each exercise in this final week added another dimension and helped me learn a new layer of information about my new design of my childhood home. Making a 1:75 scale model of my design was perhaps the most enthralling exercise with regards to this brief. It was tough getting straight cuts through the thick paper and it took many attempts to do the same but since this was a scaled model of a house, it had to be precise and neat. Through this model, I understood circulation in my house better. The horizontal and vertical movement through spaces that can be confusing to read in flat 2D orthogonal drawings, but making the model allowed me to trace the path myself or anyone else would take through each space and judge the space requirements allotted for each space much better.

Understanding the different layers through each exercise, I integrated these learnings in the form of an exploded axonometric model of my new childhood home. This helped my understanding of the layout, structure, built-unbuilt relation etc. better than flat 2D drawings and how each space is aligned along an axis. I also observed how the openings and circulation spaces play a vital role in the experience of the house by studying the mass and void. Working with a software can sometimes be troublesome, for I lost all my data once, but redoing the model helped me gain more clarity of my home. Through this model, I also understood the configuration of the new roof I created in my latest iteration better than in 2D drawings, and adding the surrounding context and dashed lines for axes made the model more readable.

3D Model: Exploded axonometric view showing the different layers of the design of my new childhood home.

The associative site map showed me how my house would fit into the surroundings and the relationship of my house with the exteriors. This time, instead of simply pasting a plan on the neighbourhood map, I showed surrounding context such as the trees on the street and vehicles on the road.

Associative Site Map: The illustrative map of my childhood neighbourhood after integrating my house.

All the exercises and iterations cumulated in the making of a short video where I compiled all the -3m plans of all my previous iterations. This helped me measure how each iteration just got better after inculcating all the changes, and how much progress I had made in terms of my learning and understanding since my first design, and it was very fascinating.

To understand the different spaces of the house better, I drew sketches trying to highlight aspects such as lighting, elements and inhabitation among others. Each sketch was drawn from the perspective eye level of someone standing in the house, so as to give the viewer an idea about the ambience of the space. In each sketch, people, vegetation and spaces are seen to give a sense of inhabitation in the house.

Sketch: Sketch showing the view of the mandir in the verandah and the entrance terrace from the entrance of the house. Medium: Charcoal pencil.
Sketch: Sketch showing the tree in the courtyard of the house.

Redesigning my childhood home has been a rollercoaster ride. Memories and concepts came to me easily, but integrating the different layers of information and requirements of the inhabitants to create one beautiful home with different spaces in harmony was something new I learnt. Each exercise has opened me up to different ideas and taught me that there are multiple ways to achieve the same objective. Redesigning my childhood home has truly been a very memorable experience and I look forward to the next exercise.

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