Seeking Blue

Logan Miller /// Apr. 21, 2020 /// Portfolio Vol. 1

On Stair Pers.

Seeking Blue is a triangular duplex house located near downtown Knoxville, TN. The architecture is constructed to be flexible and dynamic in the sense of  housing two residents, or a single resident with enough space for an in-home office. Having the luxury to work from home is crucial, as shown through the 2020 Covid 19 pandemic, but having the ability to distinguish whether a space is designed for work or for living is paramount for sustaining one's mental health.

The fluid motion between surfaces, juxtaposed with the sharp corners of the site provides the guest with two different emotional extremes, a Yin and a Yang. The design takes direct cues from the surrounding area by integrating a powerful line of sight towards downtown Knoxville. This, in tandem with the elegant curves connecting one floor to the other, summarize what a modern home in the rolling hills of Tennessee should feel like. 

Large floor-to-ceiling windows on the southern façade of the architecture allow daylight to gently warm the common area, with the main wall formed through the central curve disrupting this natural light evenly between each floor. Private locations in the architecture paired with a shared common space create a lifestyle that is more social and family orientated. Vaulted double-height ceilings provide a sense of depth in a site that was neglected by developers for being too small. 

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1. Flexibility

60'

27'

Longitudinal Section 

The longitudinal section of the Seeking Blue house visualizes the size of lot, 1,500 buildable square feet, with that number being upgraded to 2,500 livable square feet through the addition of a second floor. The detailed section demonstrates a single resident utilizing the upper bedroom as an office space. 

The most notable aspect around this design is the winding staircase. One of the most difficult attributes of building on a triangular lot is working with the sharp corners that typically result in lost space. Seeking Blue takes advantage of the corner by rounding it off and using it as part of the staircase. This, along with the beautiful curve that the staircase provides makes it the focal point of the design. 

2. Process

3. Systematic roofing

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The first iteration of the Seeking Blue house was a simple triangular plot with basic structural walls. Eventually evolving into doorways with a mesh plaster-filled lathe ceiling, acting as the transitional piece for incorporating the staircase into the design. The curved roof follows the same dual purpose logic, existing as both the exterior wall and roof.

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Developing a roof structure for a triangular house required an innovative solution. Seeking Blue incorporates a systematic grid of aluminum structure that provides a lightweight and malleable resolution. The grid structure allows the roof to retain strength even when the amount of appendages drops drastically due to the waning shape of the lot. Without a sound systematic foundation, the roof would cave in from the inconsistent load placements. 

4. Individualized duplex

Aerial Plan Cut Level 2

Perspective Plan (Second Floor)

Aerial Plan Cut

Perspective Plan (First Floor)

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Physical Model

Seeking Blue is built around flexibility, giving the owner options of whether or not they want an in-home office on the second floor, or another tenant.  A bathroom and ample living space on each floor makes these options possible, allowing the architecture to never be grounded to a single use. Centralizing the kitchen forces people to come together around food, a simple necessity of life. The bringing together of people incentivizes socializing, truly a space that is great for family and guests alike.