Approaching materiality as a textural sensory journey that is a primary driver of the aesthetic, Bloxas’ Hungry Hands project is one of sensory discovery through touch, encouraging the architecture to be physically read, not just visually interpreted.
Exploring the idea that architecture can be experienced through touch and sensory engagement as a primary prerogative, Hungry Hands is aptly named. Responding to its unique brief, the new home speaks to textural experience as its most imperative brief driver. The assumption that visual spectacle, form and space are the sole creators of architecture, and that without visual analysis through the eye the experience of the design is lessened, is actively challenged through this project. Instead, Bloxas excitedly explore another approach, one that speaks to experience and texture and the idea that a building can be read physically, through touch.
Purposefully texturally undulating, the need for this home to allow for a sensory response was paramount. A form of Autism Spectrum Disorder whereby physical sensation is constantly being sought as a means to stimulate a starved nervous system was the catalyst for this brief. Rigorous mapping of spatial planning and sequence of movement mapping, alongside the purposed placement and hierarchy given to materiality, enabled Bloxas to determine their course of action.
Utilising brick as the main material for both structure and texture, there are eleven solid brick types used throughout. The sequencing and placement of each blade is purposeful, indicating a change in space, level, height and hierarchy, hence informing the sensory journey. In amongst the application of the fired-clay beauties is a classic palette of warm timber, polished concrete and large span openings. At each junction, such as where the reading of the textural brick transitions into glazing, there is a sense that the outside is being welcomed inward.
Designed using an approach that speaks to an altered way of experiencing space, Hungry Hands is unique. Purposefully detailed and expressed to be touched, climbed on and remembered over time, the engagement with materiality and its meandering through space is integral to the architecture. Bloxas have conjured not only a beautifully executed approach to residential contemporary architecture, but also one that encourages each touch-point (the journey through space, where one pauses, sits, stands or works) to become opportunities to engage with something beyond the visual. In this way, Bloxas’ Hungry Hands appropriates an understanding and engagement with form that seeks to stimulate senses and challenge the way in which we read our built world.