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Rock of Ages

Samuel Bernier-Lavigne, Antoine-Étienne Gélinas-Michel & Maurane Paradis

The project explores the architectural potential of an “off the grid” home, with less than 37 square-meter of inhabitable space. We are locating the project in an abandoned white granite quarry in the center of Vermont, in Graniteville. The generative process of the project is inspired by the way granite blocks are extracted from the cliffs and then split in pieces for export. Thus, we divided the dwelling into different rooms, each corresponding to an essential function of the house, aiming to develop spaces that can offer a rich architectural and spatial experience. By positioning the small rooms on the site, we aimed to take possession of the quarry’s territory and generate by this idea many exterior spaces, counterbalancing the area limitation imposed on the interior. The organization of functions is articulated around the concept of heat, positioning the main fire of the kitchen as an anchor to the project. Our project thus proposes a post-anthropocene vision, by committing to bring life back to an industrial place of the past.
The idea for the material process of the project resides in an ecological approach of reusing what is abundantly available in the quarry. Thus, we use the white granite waste, crushing it to make a cement paste similar to concrete. This paste is then conveyed by a pump to a robotic arm - the only element related to the construction brought by man on the site - which allows us to 3d print at large scale the different fragments of the project. For the assembly, a crane is already available on the site, which was used in the past to move the rocks in the quarry. The fragments are placed one on top of the other to concretize the inhabitable spaces, bringing the experience of the stratum – highly present in the quarry - to the scale of the materiality of the project.
In addition to the domestic spaces, we designed water retention basins, gardens, a green wall and relaxation spaces, oriented along the main axis of the project, generating variations in the progressive sequence of the project.

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