Kelly Au

24 Hour House| Athens, Greece| Unit 21 | 2019

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 ‘A House Built in 24 hours’ As a result of peculiar building regulations in the 1800s, this project proposes a house that acts as a sundial, where the architecture is designed so that the shadows or light cast throughout the 24 hours are choreographed to guide the user to the way it should be built.
The project started off through an investigation into Anafiotika, an oasis of tranquility located on the foothills of the sacred acropolis hill. Historically the village started out as a small settlement of skilled workers from the island of Anafi, who came to Athens in the 1800s to help construct king Otto’s palace.
In researching into this strange village, reminiscent of the traditional Greek island architecture, I found out that there were three fascinating rulings that were in place in the 1800s, which allowed the Anafi workers to settle in such a disputed area of land:
1) If a structure is built between sunset and sunrise, (i.e. overnight) it cannot be demolished.
2) Any structure with a roof over the top of it cannot be demolished by the government.
3) As long as the structure is built before surise and has a roof over it, the land the structure is built on also then rightfully belongs to the person who built it.
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Modular buildings and modular homes generally consist of universal parts (or modules) that are manufactured in a factory and then shipped to a build site where they are assembled into a variety of arrangements. Modular homes can often be added or reduced in size by adding or subtracting certain components or modules. The idea behind modular houses is to increase its flexibility, versatility and functionality of spaces.
The 24 hour house is an exploration into modular systems with special regards to the Wikihouse system, the key design concept of the 24 hour house is that the idea of time resonates through every aspect of the project. The building becomes a clock, where the instructions are embedded into each piece of the building.
Each piece, each frame and each joint is questioned and designed in order to adapt and respond to the environment as well as the sun. The shadows cast on the ground and the lights cast into the interior tells the construction workers where they must work on next or how to place a specific piece.
The challenge of the project is how to choreograph the 24 hours down to the minute or perhaps even second, efficiently, methodically yet playfully. The concept of “time” plays a crucial role in this project. The building becomes a live strructure and constructing it becomes a struggle againt time. From the moment the truck arrives with the CNC materials to the moment the last screw is put into place, every detail is questioned. Each hour is carefully designed and questioned, in order to enhance both the architecture and the efficiency of the building.
Shadow and light is imperative in the design and construction process, which makes each design a very particular building, adapted to existing site and environmental conditions. The building becomes a sort of sundial, where the shadows or light cast during the day, will tell the users where to place the next panel or the next joint. Hence the house becomes a sort of feedback mechanism, a live structure that leads the users. The light and shadows lead and guide you towards the way the building should be built.
The idea behind the 24 hour house is that it will constantly be refined and redeveloped. The original aim of the project was to design a house within 24 hours during the summer solstice, which is the longest day of the year. However, one began to speculate how the building could be constructed on other days as well, such as during winter solstice or even spring or autumn. Using the same set of materials and principle of the system, the building would look completely different as the angle of the sun differs between summer and winter. Hence the shadows cast on the ground will also be different. As there will be less daylight, there will be more reliance on the artificial lighting. Additionally, some tasks might have to be rearranged in order to fit them into the daylight hours and others will perhaps be more appropriate for the artificial lighting.

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