Talyssa D'avila, Woodbury University, San Diego

Sheltering Interjections | Talyssa D’avila

Opening Statement: This project will focus on current living habits, qualities of life and spatial organization in order to re-distribute, re-adapt, re-shape, re-evaluate and re-configure the way we dwell in our homes. The subject area is the 1950’s typical suburban single family home in Clairemont, San Diego, California. The architectural strategy is acknowledging that the existing living conditions are flawed and not focused on contemporary comforts, efficiencies of space, systems and structure.  This exploration is developed by generating a series of scenarios manipulating the typical model with a hierarchy of rules, allowing for hybridization of the dwelling. The hybrid system provides the necessary flexibility  to  sustain  future  habitation,  emphasizing  sustainability,  physical  and  emotional  health, material quality and energy standards.


My Developed System:

I developed three systems:  Subtract, Adapt, Detach. These three systems will begin to change the landscape of this community through sustainable and flexible modifications to the existing household. The first example is subtract, which will take the existing single family home and through subtraction physically remove a portion of it for efficiency of space, more natural light and to create indoor/outdoor spaces in the form of external courtyards. The next is adaptation which is to add square footage to a portion of the home in order to expand the spaces that are uncomfortably small for its use or in order to increase density and add another individual or family as a rental unit but for code purposes a “guest unit” and lastly the system of detachment is to develop a unit on the property that will provide additional space without modifying the existing for the purposes of additional space for an increase in density or necessity for more space.


Family Scenarios

Now getting into the details of the project I chose to interview and analyze 3 families. The first family is the Detach 15 family with economic variances: in this plan I reconfigured the main house by adding external courtyards by removing and opening up specific walls, I enlarged the kitchen and family room spaces because that is where time is spent the most and reduced the garage space for it to serve half as a workshop and the other half as a normal garage. The detached unit was added due to the family’s economic variances and necessary additional income. The unit can be zoned as a guest unit, it has its own access which maintains privacy for main house and itself. The key sustainable aspects of this unit is water and energy collection, interior flexible built-ins for flexible spaces and the use of natural light.


The second family is Subtract 11 Work/Live. This plan emphasizes on the subtraction of spaces, internal courtyards, more natural light, converting the garage into a home office large enough for client meetings, and with the flexibility to be transformed also into a guest unit in the future. Since I am replacing the use of the garage to now serve as a home office I extended the roof over the permeably paved driveway and created a carport.


Finally the third family is Adapt 09 the Changing family: Kids are going to college and it’s not necessary to maintain all rooms anymore so I added a rental income to family by adapting a studio space with its own private entry and courtyard, where It used to be a dead space since people don’t really use the setback areas since they are awkward spaces. By subtracting certain spaces I created more indoor outdoor relationships. I also exposed the beauty of the original structure and emphasized the program outdoors.


Structure and Sustainability:

I developed a roof collection system that can collect both energy and water. The roof collects water in the form of rain and condensation. The solar cloth is designed to funnel the condensation/humidity of the evening and also the rain into underground water tanks. The carport serves as a charging station with the energy collected from the sun. And finally the solar cloth also serves as a double façade – providing a solar buffer space. That concludes my project.