P 2.3.1 Typology Study – Diagoon House – Herman Hertzberger

diagoon house

The Diagoon dwellings, designed by Herman Hertzberger in 1971, were based on the idea of the ‘half product’. This idea allowed the frame of the house to be filled by users, who could personalize and customise the number of rooms, their positioning and functions. The occupants could choose where they would sleep and eat, and if the families lifestyles made a drastic change, they would be able to adapt the household to the change.

To provoke users to transform the building, Hertzberger used two principal functions: polyvalence and incompletion. The model requires people to be creative. Without proper stimulus from the architect it could result in a sort of paralysis.

this is the unique concept as Hertzberger is not looking at the specific requirements of the occupants but creating his own constraints for what he considers suitable

‘Flexibility represents the set of all unsuitable solutions of a problem’

-Herman Hertzberger 

dutch compare

The appearance of Diagoon house could be considered severe and detached from the typical architecture found in the Netherlands. However there is a conversation that Herzberger has established between his buildings and that of Dutch design; nodding towards the 15th century Dutch town houses found in Amsterdam.

These houses, like Diagoon, are inherently inflexible. Their site is inherently limited by the fact they share primary walls with their neighbouring occupants. Essentially once built, these building are stuck, its form henceforth restricted by the boundaries of the site. It is inflexible but still adaptable for each new tenant of the house.

cross_section1_popupplan 1

(left:17th century Dutch House/ right:Diagoon house plan)  In both cases, the stair core is the central circulation before reaching any of the main rooms. The 17th century Dutch houses using the Room-space style; separate rooms, which are connected to each other either horizontally or vertically. Usually these rooms are also structurally separated, but they may be connected by using doorways, openings, corridors and stairwells.This enables privacy in those rooms, because their use is hence independent and autonomous. Allowing for different adaptability to different usage in different time period.

These houses, like Diagoon, are inherently inflexible. Their site is inherently limited by the fact they share primary walls with their neighbouring occupants. Essentially once built, these building are stuck, its form henceforth restricted by the boundaries of the site. It is inflexible but still adaptable for each new tenant of the house.

Hertzberger felt that, instead of designing something flexible, he would design a form that can be used in different ways and for every purpose, without changing itself and with minimal flexibility allows an optimal solution, or Polyvalence. Hertzberger proposes polyvalence opposing flexibility and determinism. The possibility of personal adaptability rather than flexibility.

old neal canal-house-1-10-683x1024

flex adapt

Instead of designing something flexible, Hertzberger designed a form that could be used in multiple ways and for every purpose. This was achieved without changing itself and with minimal flexibility, it allows an optimal solution, or Poly-valence. Hertzberger proposes poly-valence opposing flexibility and determinism.

Q;

Flexibility is fundamentally flawed when involved with the design of dwellings. It disallows any form of identity to be formed due to its relentlessly unsatisfactory changeability. Consistency is not allowed. If a dwelling does not have identity can it be considered a home?

analytical diagrams – spatial layout

analytical diagrams

spatial diagram 2

spatial diagram 2

The arrangement is based upon two fixed cores, a staircase, and a utilities core (kitchen, bathrooms) with the rooms and spaces around the cores left undefined.

layout

MODEL

the idea behind the model is great however it was a pity we couldn’t complete in time. The main model in the center and the other variations of the floor plans are arranged all around the main model with a tread linking them back to the standard arrangement. . Probably could continue on that when we’re less tied up with work. And finding the scrap piece of metal with the perforations was an excellent act of fate, it makes a really good background for a physical isometric model.

And to do up the booklet more for the portfolio review later on in the year. More organized and structured in a way.

montage

Kat and I came to a realization to create a collage to represent the movement and changes in the space itself but to show movement graphically was a challenge. But in a way, by doing some double exposure of basic movements and overlaying them. it did the job. Was pretty fun doing the ”photoshoot” in a way. Shout out to Joe for being a good spot about it.

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About mcchoi13

Serving in the Singapore Armed Forces Diploma in Architecture Lover of Arts and music and most importantly, food.

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