Spring 2013

Abstract for my studio project in the Fall of 2013. This semester we worked with We Care, a non-profit group based in Dayton, Tennessee that provides low-income housing for the local residents. The proposed program is low-income housing near the We Care headquarters.


Richard Murray
Revisiting the Primitive Nature of Home

What is the definition of “home”? Is home a physical
construct, the walls, fl oors, ceilings? Perhaps home is simply
the space between the structure? Still, maybe home is more
of a social quality, a place for the gathering of friends and
family. How does home fulfi ll emotional needs? If home is
all of these things, is it possible to pair them down to the
basic essentials of home, without which it would no longer be
considered home? This study proposes to identify the basic
elements which are at the core of the idea of home.

Extracted from the many associated meanings of home, the
ideas of tectonic, social, and emotional elements are identifi ed
as essential to call a place “home”. These ideas are rooted
at a deeper level — the home as man-kind’s fi rst dwelling,
containing only the essential elements, the primitive hut.

In order to return to the nature of the home as the primitive
hut and therefore the basic essentials of home, it must
be understood both tectonically and phenomenologically.
Translated into the primitive hut, the home becomes shelter,
enclosure, threshold, and a place for identity.

If shelter, enclosure, threshold are the tectonic elements of the
home, how can the home be understood phenomenologically?
Could the same tectonic elements also be viewed through a
sensorial lens?

In response to We Care’s proposal for low-income senior
housing, the primitive hut’s reminder of the basic physical and
phenomenological spaces which make a home is translated
over serveral levels, in keeping with We Care’s goal to provide
empower individuals. The elements of the shutter, porch and
hearth are the analogue to ideas of shelter, enclosure and
identity. How can these be translated into a built form?


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