Bienville House Duplex by Nathan Fell

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DESIGN DETAILS
DESIGN NAME:
Bienville House

PRIMARY FUNCTION:
Duplex

INSPIRATION:
Logistics of a working family requires family members stay tethered to their homes for longer periods than each would prefer. This can become disruptive to your wellness when all your time at school, work and home is spent indoors. The homeowners preferred the city to suburbs, so rather than moving far away, they decided to make a bold change by building a new house that flipped the script on indoor home life on a small urban lot.

UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Forms are configured to accentuate transparency between 1st Floor interior spaces and exterior. Upper floors contain private spaces, wrapped by exterior surfaces forming an echelon of suspended cubes legible from multiple viewpoints. Walls supporting the cubic forms are a series of exposed concrete walls with a gap between the walls and the cubic form to render each (the wall and cubes) distinctly. The static forms juxtapose the animated interior space as a frame, reinforcing the transparency.

OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The duplex maximizes use of a small urban lot with space for or groups of people in each unit. The central goal of the design was to configure communal spaces in a way that best accesses outdoor light, air and volume. The rear unit consists of 4 beds, 3.5 baths and the front is a rental unit with 3 beds, 2.5 baths. The layout orients the rental unit as its public face, actively engaging travelers with the city, while mirroring the position of the primary unit with the rear yard to favor seclusion.

PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project is located in New Orleans, LA (USA) and started in January of 2017. It was completed in June of 2019.

FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Architecture, Building and Structure Design

PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The exterior load bearing walls are concrete cast in place board formed ThermoMass walls which help stabilize the temperature through the thermal mass of the inside wall. Due to site constraints it was only possible to cast the 30 feet tall wall in 10 feet pours across the site, then pull the forms and frame floor as the walls cured. Form panels were reassembled above only after floor were framed.

SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Thermomass, Cast in Place Concrete Walls, two walls, 30 ft tall x 73 ft long. American Fiber Cement, Exterior Cladding and 1st Floor Ceiling, Approximately 4200 sf. LaCantina Sliding Glass Doors 12 ft high x 40 ft long, 12 ft high x 14 ft long and 12 ft high x 16 ft long. Lumenwerx, 1st Floor Linear Downlights, VIA 4 LED (22 lights). Minka Air, 1st Floor Ceiling Fans, 8 fans.

TAGS:
Urban, Outside, Transparency, Frame, Mass, Duplex, Open, Monolithic, Cubes, Communal

RESEARCH ABSTRACT:
Materials had to be research for practical constructability, affordability and visual appeal. Additionally, the design had to comply with local flood zone requirements, historic, zoning and code provisions without a variance. The original concept had to compressed back due to these regulation and practical restraints, resulting in a more complicated design.

CHALLENGE:
New Orleans is a city that is often proudly slow to change, and sometimes more romantic about the past than future. This can cast an air of inevitability over new residential development within the city, that tawdry mimicry (more associated with suburban development) is the only possible path for a design. The house is constructed using materials that make sense environmentally even if they may be unconventional regionally while using certain historic paradigms a precedent (such as the poly-entry lowest level).

ADDED DATE:
2019-12-23 19:08:34

TEAM MEMBERS (1) :


IMAGE CREDITS:
All Photographs by Justin Cordova. All Drawings by Nathan Fell Architecture.

PATENTS/COPYRIGHTS:
Copyrights belong to Nathan Fell

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CLIENT/STUDIO/BRAND DETAILS
NAME:
Nathan Fell Architecture

PROFILE:
Nathan Fell Architecture was established in 2019 to allocate more attention to smaller projects including residential. Very large institutional and commercial projects tend to value innovation and durability more than smaller project do, but they extract resources away from design to more clerical and technical needs. Smaller projects on the other hand typically lack in technical development, but they generally allow for more thought implementation of design and detail throughout. The goal of Nathan Fell Architecture is to establish a diverse mix of project types and project sizes that allow for a learning and improvement of all projects. Designers in the studio will work on all project types rather than be stuck in specialist studios partitioned within the firm. Nathan Fell Architecture considers an approach to Modern design that is Humanistic. Advancement of building materials, construction techniques and design process require a modern language for Architecture to establish meaning and context about this condition. This requires these advancements to be viewed virtues that can create a hospitable warm, inviting livable designs where the occupants are considered first, but the Architecture is built to last. Nathan Fell has designed and managed myriad project types including hospitality, institutional, primary education, university classrooms, lab buildings, offices, residential, apartments, condominiums, healthcare, and mercantile. These varied experiences have proved beneficial for the cross pollination of ideas that go beyond conventional assumptions. His approach is to seek opportunities through unbridled optimism. He believes that architecture justifies big ideas, not only by practical use, but by the joy that well-considered spaces can evoke. From pre design through construction, Nathan’s enthusiasm, dedication, and attention to detail ensures successful project delivery.

NOMINATION DETAILS

Bienville House Duplex by Nathan Fell is a Nominee in Architecture, Building and Structure Design Category.

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AWARD DETAILS

Bienville House Duplex by Nathan Fell is Winner in Architecture, Building and Structure Design Category, 2019 - 2020.



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