Niblessness

A bit of an aside about niblessness. In ancient egypt they built temples that led from the outside into the building through a variety of ever more sacred and enclosed spaces. This can be seen hereEgyptian Temple Plan

To the left is the entrance and centre right would be the ‘Altar’. The effect of this spacial change would be to bring any visitor into a more and more solemn space. This being achieved in large part by a change in scale and a greater feeling of enclosure. Egyptian Temple Cut-away.

To some degree we want to achieve this spacial change in the house in reverse – more a flow into the garden. This can most clearly be seen moving from the dining room, to the meals area, to the living area and then to the garden. There is a hierarchy of rooms and an ever loosening flow of space.

The dining room is within the original house and was fairly enclosed with an arch to the West wall, a door to the North wall, a smaller arch to the East wall and a closed southern wall with a fireplace. We still want a sense of enclosure but not to this extent. The larger arch is being squared off, the smaller arch is being enlarged and squared off to match the first arch, the door is being removed and two new openings on either side of the fireplace are being created. These openings extend, nibless, to the fireplace and perpendicular walls. We have made these openings nibless to give a greater sense of spacial flow. More niblessness soon. The new dining room will still be enclosed to some extent and will have a sense of intimacy and even secular sacredness.

From here the meals area opens up with large openings to the kitchen and dining room and no obstructions to the sitting room. Importantly the opening to the sitting room has no ceiling bulkhead: The ceiling wraps up at the sitting area to form the study baluster. This forms a dynamic spacial relationship between the dining room and the sitting room.

Finally the siiting room opens up to be a very open space. The height doubles and the Eastern wall is glass. Deliberatly there are no wall nibs to the garden so that the room incorporates the garden better. This sketch shows two rooms, one with nibs and one without.Two rooms The effect is that one room feels more introspective and secure while the other is more flowing and open. One for a claustrophobic person and one for an agriphobic person. We achieved the second kind of space in our last renovation and liked it so we are doing this again. We are further pushing this link to the outside by running the internal wall out to form a garden wall, by having bifolds that pull away from this wall and by keeping the floor finish flush with the window/door sill finish. A finished example, on a more luxurious scale is this house by Marcio Kogan.Marcio Kogan 

Another master of the spacial flow, albeit a couple of centuries ago, was the thoughtful, soulful, Soane. The Soane Museum in London was his house and the following pictures show how well he manipulated the spacial relationship from one room to another, how light sources are incorporated into that relationship and how a range of spacial experiences are created.Soane House Plan

Looking up from crypt

Backlight

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