Birdseye View from the Southeast
The general arrangement of the MBH
View from the South
The MBH (Most Beautiful House) is a study based on thinking about what it would be like to live in a space that was only six feet wide. Realizing that the experience of such a space could require getting used to claustrophobic living, schemes were explored that provided relief from the six foot spaces.
The MBH wraps a central undefined space with six foot slabs that contain kitchen, sleeping, studying, cooking, eating and bathing spaces. The central space enclosed by the six foot elements or slabs is openable to the elements with a moveable roof made of translucent panels or insulating airbags. Its use is not predetermined but meant to be flexible and an alternative to the smaller spaces of the house.
View from the West
Built into a slope facing water to the West, the house has a large lower level loft space naturally lit by glass block in the paving of the central court above. An overhead door opens into a large open space interrupted only by what columns may be needed for the structure.
The West wall above the lower space has a fixed pattern of windows that must be adapted to in the arrangement of the spaces in the Western six foot slab of the house. This arbitrarily designed arrangement of the windows is a forced link between the outside and inside of the house that maintains a constant consciousness of the relationship of interior and exterior.
The corner between the quarter circular slab and the West slab is undeveloped in this view.
View from the East
Looking into the court the spiral stair is in the Southwest corner of the central space. The quarter circular slab on the North is largely designed to contain utilities, stairs/slides and cooking areas.
View from the North West corner of the central space
A study/sketch looking at the possibilities in the central space.
View from the North
The link between the West and North slabs is studied in this sketch.
This page of sketches looks at ways of enclosing the central space, the arrangement of the top floor in the West slab with the spiral stairway coming up to the top level.
View from the Southwest
This view shows the sloping entrance walls. They are monolithic on the exterior of the house; in the central space side they are penetrated to allow passage from the entry to the court. The walls support the three frames that in turn support the enclosing panels, insulating bubbles or awning roof.
Variation on the MBH theme
Various schemes were looked at as the idea of a six foot living space was explored. The partial image in the upper right hand corner is of a proposal for a class of motorcycle racing that used geometric shapes to define classes limited by the size and volume of the shapes such as cubes and cylinders on top of which the racers rode. More about these bikes will appear elsewhere on our site.
Real life 6 foot space
A six foot wide balcony in Ron Williams' studio that resembles spaces that might make up the six foot house. The balcony overlooks a lower floor work space and is illuminated by skylights that would be directly over the six foot space in the house (further to the left in the photo). The studio is (will be) described elsewhere on this site.