After coming up with a basic concept, we had to decide the basic form of the design. One group member suggested shipping containers as they come in certain standard sizes which would allow the residents of this treetop community to customise the space that they occupy to suit their needs. The slightly smaller scale of these spaces would also mean that people were encouraged to not spend so much time in their homes, but out-with that space with their neighbours and families. Having this community raised up off of the ground would also help with urban planning as it takes up less land which is in high demand in cities and towns. The space below the platforms could be utilised as community areas rather than residential. This reminded us of the High Line in New York, and so we started pulling all our inspiration together into a more concrete concept.
We started making rough models of the design, while also researching clever ways of saving space in the smallish containers that would be the shell of the home.
We thought that having large sections of bi-folding glass doors would allow the residents to open up the space and connect more with the community. The container homes could occupy different levels and so the roofs would become gardens or communal areas that allows the residents to get between the spaces. We wanted the actual space to be quite compact but well designed, with bedrooms on the smaller side to encourage people to not sit in separate rooms but to also allow them a little privacy when needed. The group started coming up with ideas for space saving furniture and clever ways to incorporate these within the space.
We continued making smaller more rough models to illustrate our ideas, of both the community concept as a whole and the homes.
So after coming up with a more final concept, the group began making the final model and the concept boards. We used white foam board to construct the model at roughly a 1:20 scale, although some of the internal furniture maybe doesn’t look quite right. I made an example of two kinds of space saving beds, one cabin bed and one murphy bed inspired idea.
We made the model quite simple as the main idea behind this concept was that it was customisable by the residents, they make it work for them. I think my group actually worked really well as a team once we had settled on an idea. Everyone contributed equally to the final models and concept boards and I’m really happy with the results of this project. I think the only thing we could have done better was maybe rethink which example of a container house we would make as the final model as we had sketches of a different configuration on our concept board which maybe would have gotten the idea across a bit better than the layout of the model that we actually constructed. I think that we have answered the brief, we have come up with a concept that has connectivity at its very core. Every aspect of the design is there so that people are encouraged to communicate and connect with one another, to encourage a sense of community.
We hand drew the concept boards as we felt the way they would look would be more suited to the concept. Colouring it in by hand would hint to the fun, playful aspect that the liked so much about tree houses and so would highlight one of the key aspects of the design.