Shaft house funnels sunshine into the heart of the home
Shaft House, completed in August 2010, encourages the potentiality of urban-regeneration and aesthetic rejuvenation through low-cost building strategies. Slightly in contrast with its immediate surroundings; it nevertheless, subtly resides in a camouflage of the neighbourhood through appropriate use of materials and building techniques. This house exists in constant negotiation between the vernacular and the contemporary.
Shaft House attains the objective of creating an economically efficient, sustainable and responsive housing design through function and innovation. The structure of the house revolves around a central shaft, which is open to all levels of the house and lit by a skylight and south facing windows; this allows for natural ventilation and maximises air circulation. This is how; this 16-ft-wide project manages to be innovative in its formal complexity and spatial configuration while respecting all the city bylaws. Materials employed (rusted steel, aluminum, and untreated wood) are more sustainable than those used traditionally (brick, shingle, and stone, etc.) As the building ages, these organic materials age along with it and the house eventually blends into the vernacular oeuvre of the neighbouring dwellings.
The materials also provide efficiency and sustainability through maintaining ideal lighting situations and heating conditions. The openness of the south façade allows for the optimal intake of natural light during day hours while the implementation of the rusted steel on the north façade operates dually to insulate the climate conditions of the interior (heat) and at the same time prevents emission of excessive sound from the street within the interior. The innovative and economical aspect of the project enabled the architects to meet the client's needs and concerns. The urgency of revitalisation is emphasised through raising social awareness and urban expectation, and in due time this process of re-urbanisation will encourage and attract the 'young professional' and widen the distribution of socio-economical opportunities.