Pre-schematic design for artist studio and residence in Rainbow, Alaska. Designed for a multi-media collage artist, the masterplan addresses 2 acres of land in a mountainous area outside of Anchorage, Alaska.
1) A series of performance platforms, some of which are raised and some sunken, are connected by ramps. A landscaped area for summer outdoor activities is nestled within the ramps and performance platforms. (The landscaped areas feature shade and protection from bears).
2) The houses are black, to soak up solar heat. The large house may have solar panels on the roof. The roofs are angled to let snow slide off, but the forms respond to each other and do not waste internal vertical space, especially space that can be heated through convection in the summer.
3) The big house is built on a new foundation, closer to the guest house (which is rebuilt on the existing foundation). This is to enable the structures to share heating, water, and energy sources as much as possible. The existing driveway is extended a short distance to serve both houses.
4) Both houses have large glazed facades facing south to southeast, in order to let in sunlight for warmth. Views out to the mountains are prioritized without letting heat escape through large windows beyond the path of the sun angles.
5) The small house has a flatter roof and an angled skylight to let in summer sun for heating without excessive glare.
6) The floors inside the houses are thick and heavy to retain heat. The floors of the outdoor performance patios are built to let snow drift through as much as possible.