Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Early Design Phases - The Brief

Once the decision to build had been finalised with the purchase of land, the designing and dreaming began. While we didn't write a formal brief, the ideas we based the designs on could be roughly distilled to:
  • Low Cost: with no financing available and little chance of a conventional return on investment, the cash cost of the project needs to be kept low.
  • Open: Bring in the natural ambiant light and make the most of the valley views
  • Private: as foreigners in a rural village, we are minor celebrities and exposed to constant curiosity from the other residents, particularly the children. While the interest is mostly friendly it can be wearisome and is not something that we wish to experience in our own home.
  • Visually Appropriate: The house should blend with the landscape and the village and not look ostentatious or fortress-like.
  • Socially Responsible: maximise the potential benefits for the local area through employment and capacity building
  • Environmentally Sound: Emphasise local materials, low carbon footprint, and efficient operation of the building.
  • Semi self sufficent: While there is town water and electricity, they are not very reliable yet, so rain water collection and a simple electrical backup system will be used to cover the gaps in service.

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