Maison de Cartes

Maison de Cartes

Maison de Cartes

Maison de Cartes

Maison de Cartes

Maison de Cartes

Maison de Cartes

Maison de Cartes

Maison de Cartes

Maison de Cartes

Maison de Cartes

Maison de Cartes

Maison de Cartes

Maison de Cartes

Maison de Cartes

Maison de Cartes, or House of Cards, proposes a module of construction for a major crisis of our time: climate change. This module of construction is in the spirit of Les Maisons Dom-ino, however, using mass timber as the structure or backbone for the construction. Instead of columns supporting slabs and a stair, Maison de Cartes proposes a stacking of cross-laminated timber walls and floor slabs in combination with glue-laminated columns and beams which support a ramp to ensure universal accessibility. The emerging technology of these structural elements, collectively referred to as mass timber, is manufactured off-site to varying dimensions and precise tolerances. The assembly on site is rapid and resembles a stacking of cards as in the iconic game, House of Cards. The irony of the fragility of the metaphorical House of Cards is not lost here – each component of the mass timber structure is dependent on each of the others to ensure overall stability of the whole. This necessitates a different way of thinking in designing such structures.
For the exhibition, a fragment of the Maison de Cartes is constructed in the exhibition space, complete with the expression of fragility and impossible balance. Through the use of an augmented reality application available to your smartphone, the fragment is extended on your screen with wireframe linework to compose the whole. As one moves through the exhibition space with the augmented reality application, real-time/real-space perception of the fragment is augmented with the completion of a representation of the Maison de Cartes.
To demonstrate its mutability, Maison de Cartes is taken through a geometric progression to become the Hocken House, a residential project currently under development by Gordon Kipping Architects in Toronto, Canada. A floor is added, geometry is shifted and dimensions are adjusted. While the necessary insulation and cladding obscure the mass timber structure on the exterior, the interior exposes the wood structure as finish to create a natural visual and sensory experience.
The Maison de Cartes fragment is to have a second life and support another crisis. The mass timber fragment upon disassembly is reassembled into a cube which is redeployed to provide emergency transitional shelter on an encampment site of the unhoused.