ALCOVA

Project Description

Because of Houston’s tactics of territorial annexation and leap frogging developments, the outer loop is a patchwork of linear gaps and interstices, empty spaces between places, excluded as other and outer. These spaces functions as buffer zones between suburban enclaves, belonging to neither and therefore maintained by no one; ownership is both contested and blurred. We are proposing the archetype of the wall as a typological solution for these linear domains and a space in which to restructure the project of domestic inhabitation. Opposed to the autonomous unit of the home, the linear archetype is instead a homogenous bar with an open and negotiable interior, countering the paradigm of partition and subdivision within domestic space.

The inhabited wall becomes a cabinet for the body, containing in its poche the spaces for reproduction and thus freeing the space of the dwelling for living and working. The necessary infrastructure for living–bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, laundry, storage–are embedded within wall niches and alcoves in measured intervals. By compressing all of the functions of living into the wall, the resultant spaces are allowed to be empty, freed from domestic infrastructural requirements, clearing space for the self-employed, the freelancer, the entrepreneur. We are reclaiming the generic character of the home and reorganizing it into a highly specific cabinet of living and labor, which introduces the body as a centerpiece for a restructuring of domestic space.