CJ Lim Studio 8 Architects

Guest House, 1995

The Guest House, designed for the Shinkenchiku International Ideas Competition in Japan, is a concept for an experimental and kinetic robotic machine bordering on the domain of science fiction. In fact, this house can exist in any agitated or fluctuating topographical context as it will respond by changing its form. The environment plays “host” to the house. Whether aquatic, land-based or subterranean, its geographic, topographic and climatic conditions can endlessly vary. Steep slopes, land, water, altitude, storms, extreme heat or wind cause the house to either float, bury itself in the ground or to stand upright. The opposite of any idea of permanence, this house is formally unstable and flexible. Instead of building a form based on a family situation which doesn’t yet exist, and thus freezing it once and for all, CJ Lim proposes a magnetic force field supplied by solar and hydraulic energy. He “exploits” the environment in ways that enable him to create spatial narratives, unusual events and new configurations which do more than merely meet the requirements of a program based solely on the wishes of the occupants. Its complex form, like a scaly body, adapts to change, its walls transform into tectonic plates mutating in elastic and flexible spaces. In the event of violent storms, it contracts and occupants can take shelter in the lower bedroom. Once fair weather has returned, the house expands again and its occupants can finally sit down to dinner.

Nadine Labedade

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