The final project from Studio 2 was a 1500 sqft dwelling with a tiny 400 sqft footprint, located in Briar Hill Lane. Two characters were picked from an limited selection of Canetti’s “Earwitness: Fifty Characters”. The brief literary descriptive passages allowed for the creation of fictional clients, whose relationship provided a conceptual basis for the formal and programmatic resolution of the brief.
Pandora’s Box is a house for the Paper Drunkard and the Wile Catcher, two men defined by their obsessions. In his unyielding hunt for ‘masks’ – the ways in which people deceive each other – the Wile Catcher hismelf becomes the ultimate conman as he creates his encyclopedia of lies. The Paper Drunkard’s insatiable thirst for knowledge and a search for rare books leads him to live with the Wile Catcher, the one who reads people like books, and whose journal is the one book no one can get their hands on.
The design of the house aims to benefit from the inherent conflict of the inhabitant’s relationship rather than mitigate it. Broadly speaking it is a house for an artist and a critic, where the creative activity of one actor penetrates into all adjacent spaces: the dirty floor of a studio becomes an abstract painting in the living room… The stair acts as a mediating device – it separates the two realms, but also focuses the dwellers’ activities.