Cultured Magazine

Winter 2015

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CULTURED 000 CULTURED 263 volume inserted into a hillside. His father loved it and told him this is what he and his mother wanted for their home, much to Heid's surprise. "I was pretty shocked that this project was what they wanted. It was a lot more architecturally ambitious than I ever imagined that my parents would want to sign up for." Unlike a traditional suburban house which usually has a living and dining area separated by a corridor from the sleeping area, his parents' house is one where "every space becomes a living space during the day, and every living space can become a sleeping space at night. It maximizes the efficiency of the floor plan," he says. This is accomplished by a matrix plan, where everything is interconnected. A pair of L-shaped walls house the bathrooms, kitchen and closets. And while a central glass courtyard creates an open loft feeling, pocket doors in the walls can create privacy when desired. Recently, NO completed proposals for a library extension in Switzerland and a town hall in Norway. An ongoing project is a 4,300-square-foot private residence in Maryland, which could clumsily be called a steroidal version of his parents' house, with multiple courtyards and a series of volumes in a loop configuration. "It pushes the ethical boundaries of what architecture should be about. But I do think, even at this scale, we can make something that actually has a relationship between the inside and the outside. And makes the client, as a person, aware of his relationship with other people and with nature." Ultimately, Heid sees the compartmentalization of the room-and-corridor plan as a disastrous cultural relic we still live with: a holdover from 17th century English country houses, a way to segregate the social classes and create microclimates around fireplaces. "So anything that is not that–the matrix plan, the open plan, the perimeter plan–is a way to really change the way people live in a positive way." NO Architecture's proposal for the Guggenheim Helsinki design competition, presented a structure surrounded by a pitched-and-cut roof canopy. © 2015 NO ARCHITECTURE, PLLC

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