Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The "Folly" of Design

The balcony of the folly overlooks Mt. Baker and the water.

Folly: fal'e 1. A lack of sense, foolishness 2. A foolish action or belief

What place does a word like "folly" have on our floor plans for the Hare House? In architectural terms, a folly is a structure "Having none of the usual purposes of housing or sheltering, strictly as a decoration."

The hierarchy of pleasures is illustrated in the strata of purposes
: the first floor is a wine cellar, a very practical yet some may argue superfluous area of a residence. The second floor is a place for meditation, art, reading. The third floor houses a telescope and a balcony, with a stunning view of the water. The folly is designed for the privacy of its user, yet to allow the user to observe and interact on their own terms with the site and its surroundings.

The main floor of the folly.

For the Hare House, however, the folly is the most purpose-driven area of the residence. The client asked for a place to just go and be, to read, to create, to escape the pressures of everyday life. The function is not built into the area as it is in the kitchen, but the structure exists purely for its inhabitants, to be used deliberately and intentionally.

Yet are not all additions to a residence a folly? After a roof over your head, a place to sleep and prepare food and walls surrounding your family (according to Mazlow, the physiological and safety needs), isn't everything just a folly? The true creativity of residential d
esign lies not in the providing the essential spaces, but providing the areas that bring everyday delight and enjoyment in a practical and respectful way.

A neighbor is already enjoying the privacy of the folly.

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