Canyon-Space_M  


Canyon-Space Residence

A Living Space Embedded within the Natural Environment – Arizona’s Desert – 2001. 
Architect: Eran Kaftan, Research & EcoDesign.
Won in September 2004 the First Prize of the Young Architects Exhibition, the Israeli Architects Association.


 

Interior Space

Interior Space


Drawings

D-CS_Sections 


 D-CS_Floor-Plan


D-CS_Elevation

 

Design Concepts

General Composition

The building masses were arranged in four clusters, divided by major openings. One can draw a parallel with the composition of the surrounding mountains with the canyons within them. This composition also enables employing a unique and modern curved interior with an exterior appearance which complies with particular enclave guidelines of Santa Fee style. The building core, bounded by convex curved walls and major openings, accommodates the semi-public areas, the living room and the family room. Other functions are enclosed within interior concave walls and exterior walls.

Visual habitat

The major openings were designed to connect the building core with the surrounding scenery and the immediate natural landscape. Prime openings to the North and South include extensive movable glass screens to accommodate the extraordinary scenery of mountains in the north and city in the South. To the north, the central roof is inclined upward to accommodate the mountain view and a larger portion of the day and night sky. Several skylights, further connect the residents to the day and night sky. Secondary openings to the East and the West provide additional relief to the enclosed interior space. The roof in these orientations is inclined downward for drainage. All openings enclose patios, which employ the natural flora as a desert garden. Those were situated to accommodate existing precious saguaro cacti and flora.

Natural Illumination

The northern and southern openings provide prime natural illumination. The southern openings provide the warm and bright direct and reflected daylight; and northern openings provide the cool and diffused daylight. The eastern and western openings enable the warm daylight of sunrise and sunset to penetrate into the building core; extending the natural illumination period, expanding the entered natural spectrum, and celebrating the dynamic changes of nature through time. The bedrooms and the kitchen benefit from morning natural illumination and thermal heating.

Natural Energy Flow

A large curved space which connects the prime northern and southern openings enables a natural energy flow (Chi) from the nearby northern canyon through the building core to the South. The meandering shape of this space contributes for better distribution of the energy throughout the building and relief the governing symmetry. Natural drainage was relocated to the East to eliminate uncontrolled natural energy  under the building, leaving the building as a safe island. A curved line of glass blocks is embedded in the central floor to mark the historical stream.

Natural Inhabitant Circulation

The curved walls in the building core enable a natural path with least resistance for better inhabitant circulation, keeping the occupants velocity of movement somewhat constant.

Thermal Barrier & Solar Shading

The western sections of the building consist of mainly service areas with only a small opening to the northeast. These spaces operate as a thermal buffer zone protecting from the harsh west solar orientation and also protect the view into the house from neighbor residences. Most exterior walls were designed to incorporate either compressed straw blocks or recycled polyester, providing good insulation from the hot summer days and cold winter nights. Openings to the South and to the East are covered by shaded patios, overhangs, or shading devices to eliminate late-morning and noon summer solar penetration.

Passive Solar Heating & Thermal Storage

A major southern opening and a seasonal overhang opening enable winter solar penetration into the building core, heating the indoor air. In addition, the radiation is stored in the thermal mass of the interior Rammed-Earth curved walls and exposed concrete floor. The thermal mass is employed in winter to store direct solar radiation in the daytime to be released to the space at night.

Natural Ventilation & Thermal Storage

In the summer days, the interior thermal mass is employed to absorb the heat from the space, reducing the indoor air temperatures. Then, during the night the stored heat is removed by natural cross ventilation. The north-south natural cross ventilation is enhanced by night cold drafts sinking down the canyon; and by afternoon rising air from the Tucson valley. Both natural air-flows create pressure and wake zones at the major openings, driving significant natural ventilation through the building core. This prime air-flow drives airflow through the other rooms through suction.

Sustainable Materials

The chosen building materials of compressed straw blocks, recycled polyester, and Rammed-Earth are sustainable alternative natural materials which do not include much embedded energy. In addition, those will ultimately be recycled to soil.

Skylights

Partially protected skylights separate the central roof from the curved walls creating the perception of a floating roof; and enabling daylight deeper into the building core. One skylight accommodates a fireplace, providing a source of warmth at the center of the building. The other accommodates a glassed rain collector to further enrich the living space with the dynamics of nature. 

Site & Early Design

Northern View of the Mountains and Canyon

Northern View of the Mountains and Canyon

 

Western View at Sunset

Western View at Sunset

 

Southern Twilight View of Tucson Valley

Southern Twilight View of Tucson Valley

 

Site & Natural Flora

Site & Natural Flora

 

Site Compass of Views and Sun Path

Site Compass of Views and Sun Path

 

Architectural Programming

Architectural Programming

 

Early Design Concepts: Site Integration and Shape

Early Design Concepts: Site Integration and Shape

Climatic Modeling

 

Annual Sun Path Modeling of Tucson, Arizona

Annual Sun Path Modeling of Tucson, Arizona

 

Winter Average Daily Solar Gain

Winter Average Daily Solar Gain

 

Annual Received Solar Radiation

Annual Received Solar Radiation

 

Monthly Heating and Cooling Loads

Monthly Heating and Cooling Loads

Daylight Simulation

Summer Noon illuminance Iso-Level at June 21th, 12:00am

Summer Noon illuminance Iso-Level at June 21th, 12:00am

 

Winter Noon Luminance Iso-Level at December 21th, 12:00am

Winter Noon Luminance Iso-Level at December 21th, 12:00am

 

Spring Sunrise Luminance Level at March 21th, 7:15am

Spring Sunrise Luminance Level at March 21th, 7:15am

Relevant Publications

First Place, Young Architects Exhibition, the Israeli Architects Association, “Canyon-Space Residence” 2004.

Kaftan, Eran. 2005. Canyon-Space Residence: Living Space Embedded within the Natural Environment. Perspective (the Israeli Architects Association Periodical). No. 21, p 48.

Third Biennale for Young Israeli Architects (40/40), “Canyon-Space Residence: Living Space Embedded within the Natural Environment”, 2005.