The House of Ambiguity: Constructing Fictional Space

RIBA President's Medals - Silver Medal Commendation

MArch 2 Project

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Danielle Fountain

 

The House of Ambiguity is a project which explores the use of the fictional narrative within the design process. Mark Z. Danielewski’s The House of Leaves, a novel which uses a multitude of textual and syntactic devices, is taken as a focal point. While there are several interlinked plots within the book, the central story revolves around a family and their unusual house. A house which reveals vast chasms and labyrinthian corridors within its walls.

The narrative is taken as an initial design brief, and its various irrational and ambiguous descriptions of space form the foundation for a physical representation. Beginning with a typical 18th century Virginian house, the design undergoes a series of transformations to include the emergent spaces and constraints of the narrative. These transformations are informed by typical architectural considerations in geometry, scale, lighting, and materiality, as well as studies in disorientation and the evocation of mystery. The ambiguous nature of interpreting a novel is yet visible in the architecture through themes of permeability and interstitial space.

The final transformation is an uncanny domestic space which blurs and spreads into grander underground rooms, emphasising the significance of atmosphere within the typology of the house.

Exploration A - House of Leaves - Space and Paper
Exploration 1 - House of Leaves - Space and Paper
Exploration 3 - House of Leaves - Space and Paper
Bedroom - House of Leaves - Space and Paper
Sketch Section - House of Leaves - Space and Paper
Sketch Section 2 - House of Leaves - Space and Paper
3D Printed House Developments - House of Leaves - Space and Paper
Site Sketch - House of Leaves - Space and Paper
Conical Space - House of Leaves - Space and Paper
View of Normality - House of Leaves - Space and Paper
Site Plan: 1. Anteroom 2. Grand Staircase 3. Maze 4. Series Of Lefts 5. View of Normality 6. Great Hall

Site Plan: 1. Anteroom 2. Grand Staircase 3. Maze 4. Series Of Lefts 5. View of Normality 6. Great Hall

Isometric - House of Leaves - Space and Paper
The Grand Stair - House of Leaves - Space and Paper
The Bartizan - House of Leaves - Space and Paper
The Interoom - House of Leaves - Space and Paper
The Maze - House of Leaves - Space and Paper
Models - House of Leaves - Space and Paper
The Infinite Hallway

The Infinite Hallway

Exploded Structure2.jpg
Ground Floor

Ground Floor

First Floor

First Floor

Attic

Attic

Monoprint - House of Leaves - Space and Paper
Study

Study

Children's Bedroom

Children's Bedroom

Monoprint 2 - House of Leaves - Space and Paper
The Great Hall - House of Leaves - Space and Paper
3D Print Wood Veneer House Model - House of Leaves - Space and Paper