I am focusing on the live/ work typography, a clientele which presents a lot of freedom for design. There are many possibilities for many professions, it is a very flexible concept.
A live/ work building is fundamentally a dual purpose one. They are aimed at people who require space to work in the same place that they live. This could mean a house for an architect with a dedicated studio, or it could be as literal as having a dwelling above a corner shop.
In general a live/ work space can be designed as a generic idea, able to accommodate any inhabitant and their needs. In this case the design will be more bespoke, but considering the potential future needs of the design will be a necessity. Throughout its life, not everyone who lives in the building may be a bike salesman for example.
Above: Live/ Work Space by Sculp(IT)
Although there will always be exceptions, it is likely that the client will not want to be constantly reminded of their work/ their store whilst they are in the residential areas of the building. There must be good organisation through the building to allow distinction between the two elements, whilst creating an efficient use of the available space.
A live/ work space must be have all the necessary functions for day to day living, everything a home would offer. This means a bedroom, bathroom, dining room, living room etc. However, this type of building needs to cater for other requirements too. Depending on the work of the client the needs may differ. However there must be facilities available from plumbing to electrics, there must be suitable light and comfortable conditions, and there must be space to work.
Whilst researching the topic, I found an incredibly useful video by Eric Laine and Suzanne Steelman from Eric Laine's Youtube channel. The video can be found below:
If people are going to live where they work, they are going to spend most of their time in that place. As such, the building basically needs to be efficient enough to work as two buildings, not just the one.
The more efficient this live/ work space is, the more efficient the person/ people living there are.
In the video, many good points are made about how a live/ work building should be designed. Although the project in the video is oriented around their site of Athens, Georgia, these points are equally valid in regards to designing for the Castle Gardens site too.
Such points include following the line of the street with the design, but doing so differently on each level. In the video the idea of creating distinction between retail and residential is discussed, one way of achieving this is recess the retail space on the ground floor, opening it up and creating an inviting space for people to wonder in to. Above that is the retail space which hangs over, asserting its dominance but doing so without intimidating. If anything this overhang becomes a more inviting feature, imagine for instance if it were raining, this then creates a desirable shelter for passers by, conveniently leading to a store.
Wrapping to the shape of the perimeter block is something that can be toyed with in designing for Castle Gardens. There is also the potential extend far beyond the two stories of the project in the video.
This opens up potential for playing with facades far more than having one floor pushed in and another floor pushed out. Patterns can be created, or alternatively random occurrences. The whole building could become controlled chaos if it is reflective of the client.
What does a live/ work building look like?
On the subject of distinctions defining purpose, Robert Venturi and 'The Duck and the Decorated Shed' become appropriate. Venturi's observations led to him believing that buildings had begun to categorise themselves in two ways. The first, the decorated shed, was the idea that any building could house any function, so long as it is signified.
Take for example a modern day high rise building. To simply look at the forms and shapes, it is not absurd to suggest that they all look fairly generic. Any of them could house any function, if not more than one. In fact this is genuinely the case for many. What this point makes is that it is hard to be certain what the purpose any of these buildings is, that is, until you read the sign above the door. Hence the term 'the decorated shed'.
The opposition to the shed is the duck. The duck achieves the same idea of explaining what it is, but does so through the power of architecture, not signs.
People understand what this building is, because it has created a distinction. It is not a house, nor a DIY store. This big duck is a building which sells ducks. And thats what I believe needs to happen in the work/ live space. There needs to be definite design decisions to differentiate retail from residential, work from life. Furthermore, I would like this distinction to go beyond the simple use of a sign.
Above: The Big Duck in Long Island, New York
Top Right: Two generic skyscrapers, potentially situated anywhere.
Bottom Right: A short video explaining Robert Venturi's theory on 'The Duck and the Decorated Shed', entitled 'Learning From Las Vegas'.
When designing my live/ work space, I will be considering greatly the idea of providing different functions with different personas in order that they might entertain their own distinctions.