House Rules

Related Staff : Holger Kehne, Ulrich Kirchhoff, Yan Gao

Student: Cheng Tak Hei Ivan

Thesis Abstract

The thesis attempted to challenge the homogeneity of public housing by proposing a ‘rule-based design method’, within which inhabitants are given the autonomy to extend their living envelopes under the control of the architect. Compared to the ‘catalogue’ method, which provided inhabitants with only a handful of options by the architect, the ‘rule-set’ enables great range of possibilities within the defined spectrum.

Under this system, the role of the architect is changed, apart from designing the static hardware-infrastructure, including sky gardens, lift core and prefabricated shell units with different values, he also has to create a rule set, that is a software-infrastructure that governs further dynamic alterations by the inhabitants.

Apart from existing planning regulations, the rule set should also include stylistic rules from architect’s subjectivity, which brings coherence to the building’s outlook amidst the complexity.

The effect of the ruleset on the overall building massing and façade is simulated by both computational and manual means in this thesis project.

With parametric tools, encoded rules were able to be applied in vast quantity, creating a rough overall image of the building created by the ruleset. 

On the other hand, plans are manually drawn, acting as a qualitative means to apply the rule set from perspective of the inhabitant at a greater resolution.

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