at HOME away - A master thesis about home in architecture and how a short-term residency can be designed to feel like home

Examensarbete för kandidatexamen
Bachelor Thesis
Arkitektur 300 hp (arkitekt)
Fälted, Tora
What is home? Home can mean such different things to different people, the idea of home is to a large extent subjective and individually defined. Possibly that could be the explanation why in architecture when houses are built, it is often forgotten that it will also become someone’s home. In the design process the focus often remains on the house rather than then the home. However, home may not be only an individual definition, there may be common threads that we connect to the feeling of home and which could facilitate the integration of home into the design of a house. This thesis aims to clarify those common threads and more specifically, through a design proposal for a short-term residency, show how certain design criteria can be used to capture the feeling of home in a dwelling that is only temporary to the inhabitants. In order to find the general aspects of home I studied literature about home in architecture and generally, I also conducted an inquiry and a ‘subjective exploration of space’ to get the individual and personal aspects of home and understand the key elements for the respondents, including myself in the case of the exploration, to feel at home. When defining the design criteria, I studied existing buildings designed by architects that have worked with similar aspects or criteria. I looked into how they had worked around the idea of home and how they used different designs to capture the relevant aspects of home in their buildings. Finally I designed a proposal for a short-term artist residency by applying my design criteria in order to make it feel like home. Wellbeing, time, familiarity, organization and privacy summarize the main elements we generally connect to the definition of home. Based on those, the following design criteria were applied in the design of my short term artist residency to capture the feeling of home: 1) nature/surroundings 2) material/construction 3) space/ size 4) light 5) empathy. Nature enhances our feeling of wellbeing and familiarity and an integrated design with the surroundings improves our feeling of belonging and hence home. By using used materials (re-used wood and natural materials) that reflect a “worn” touch and patina the essence of time can be captured, which by default is absent in a short-term residency. Space and size play an important role in our way to adapt and manage the space to become our own and the possibility to organize our things and our thoughts in a new space is crucial to make us feel like home. A private space, a refuge, where we can be ourselves and feel free, is another key element to home and by working with light, warmth and a sense of wellbeing is created which further enhances the dwellers’ feeling of home. Ultimately, since the aspects of defining home partly remains subjective and probably is impossible to fully capture, empathy aims to encourage the architect’s ability to listen and get to know the dweller in order to be able to design a house that will become a home. From a social sustainability aspect, my short-term artist residency through its design encourages the interaction with others as well as the participation in the construction process - both by inhabitants and locals in the area.
Building Futures , Samhällsbyggnadsteknik , Building Futures , Civil Engineering
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