Planning, Conceptual Design & Competitions

In addition to serving on the Teton County Planning Commission, architect Paul Duncker and HandsOn Design have participated in community planning charettes,  design competitions, and calls for submissions contributing pro-bono design services to these and other investigative endeavors focussed on contextual housing typology development and educational art initiatives.  The following is a portfolio of some of those efforts.

The Qube: a Habitat Module
The Qube is a designed to be a self-sufficient single occupant dwelling unit. Its minimal size conforms to federal highway standards without requiring special permits, so it can be easily transported by truck. It generate and stores electricity and collects water, both new and used.  it accommodates the three main functions of a shelter: cook, sleep and bathe.  It contains three rooms: kitchen, bedroom and bathroom, and it dies so within an 8’-6” cube, that’s 2.6 meters. In order to go from bedroom to bathroom, or from kitchen to bedroom, one must exit the module, flip it over onto the appropriate side and walk back in. Gravity determines which room one occupies since all the rooms are contained in a single volume.

House O' Groucho

The following schematic design investigations represent an attempt to illustrate a number of dense, urban multi-family housing layouts interpreting the Town of Jackson/ Teton County's current LDR's (Land Development Regulations) and how they might apply to a historic property in the densest residential zoning district in the downtown core. This zoning district requires a minimum of 4 units be built on the site if it were redeveloped, and the available on site parking  supports a maximum of 8 units. All schemes make use of the Town's new Workforce Housing Bonus to create floor area in excess of the typical FAR (Floor Area Ratio) allowed in this location. Groucho is the name of a large black dog who currently manages the site.

House O' Groucho:  Quad
This scheme includes two 3 bedrooms/ 2 bath Market Rate homes, each with a detached 2 car garage, and two 1 bedroom, 1 bath Workforce Housing units with basements suitable for an additional bedroom. The Workforce units have 2 parking spaces each. The Workforce units may be rentals owned by the primary residences, aligning them with the needs of local business owners who need employee housing. This scheme also minimizes building heights, with only a small loft instead of a full 3rd floor.

Villa Groucho: Quintuplets
This scheme includes one 3 bedroom/ 2 bath main house, featuring a double height great room with a fireplace. It may also include a 500 sq.ft. basement office rental with a separate entrance. Two units would be 2 bedroom/ 1 bath Workforce condos, and one would be a 2 bedroom/ 2 bath Market condo with another 500 sq.ft. basement office rental. The basement offices share a wheelchair lift. All units have a 1 car garage and full basement except the single story Accessible Unit, which has 2 parking spaces. All units except the Accessible one has a roof deck, and two units have photovoltaics.
Casa Groucho: Apartments
This scheme includes 6 dwelling units of various sizes with 10 parking spaces. 4 of the units are Free Market, 2 are Workforce Housing. They might be rentals, condos or a combination of both. All have full basements, some with bedrooms.  Rear units have dedicated covered parking,  all others are communal, with a drive through between the alley and street. Each unit has a dedicated roof deck, some accessed by retractable glass walls. Elevations illustrate a combination of gable and flat roofed volumes, and buildings mediating  between these historic and contemporary downtown Jackson housing vernaculars.
GrouchoTownhouses
This scheme includes eight identical units of 644 sq.ft, each with 2 bedroom / 1 bath and 1.5 parking spaces per Town of Jackson regulations. each unit has a dedicated roof deck accessed by a spiral stair on the 3rd floor balcony. Five units are free Market and three are Workforce Housing.  The fact that there is a vertical  demising line between units suggests that they might be sold as townhouses, though this demising line does not designate assigned parking spaces below.  A separate storage building on site provides space for each resident, and each unit has a large skylight and space for PV array.
Skull on Wheels
A Mutant Vehicle proposal for Burning Man
 

A rolling sculpture patterned after a Bison skull, inhabited / worn by the ultimate American agricultural icon, a 1977 Ford

F-150 pickup truck, the way a hermit crab inhabits the shell of another creature. The Bison is gone. Only the shell remains, appropriated by another, a foreign entity.

The idea behind this piece is to simply provide a glimpse of something that never crosses the minds of most citizens. A forgotten history, one with much wider implications about our place in the West. This project has a whole website of its own, with much more detail about the project and its progress to date. That address is:

https://www.skull-on-wheels.com

The Electric Slide
Jackson Hole Public Art proposal
 

A demountable pavilion that mimics a prototypical Wyoming structure know as a Beaver Slide for stacking hay. HandsOn has appropriated this imagery to harvest another resource - the energy of the sun. An inclined plane covered in photovoltaic cells shelters a utility trailer containing a battery array covered by a switchable privacy glass topped stage platform. During the day, current flows through the glass rendering it clear, exposing the batteries and their controls. At night, the current flow ceases and the glass becomes opaque, and is illuminated from below - a light source in itself. Above this hangs a fabric structure resembling the uppermost portion of a human skull. When one ascends the platform, they occupy the physical space of the brain below this skull cap, and perhaps put the message together. Think about solar energy in agricultural Wyoming.

Library Artch
Jackson Hole Public Art Library proposal
 

This artwork acknowledges the emergence of different models of personal and mass communication, intellectual pursuit, the dissemination of knowledge, and our culture's evolving "place" for the written word. Libraries have historically acted as warehouses of the written word, a physical space cataloguing our culture's accumulated pool of knowledge. Today, information lives in the very ether around us, available to anyone to either add to or take from- a dynamic, open source of information still primarily based on the written word. The envisioned artwork represents a playful and evocative gateway into the world of knowledge, to the written word in any of it's forms- precious volumes of memorialized text painstakingly sought, or a digital data stream extracted and distilled from the background clutter of pop-culture overload.

The New Neighborhood


Collaborative design effort aimed at creating a large neighborhood of predominantly affordable housing to address  the majority of the community's affordable and employee housing needs, into the future, in one location. The location was the Scherr-Thoss property between the Rafter J and Melody Ranch subdivisions. HandsOn Design contributed six hosing prototypes to the effort, based largely on prefabricated modular components. 

Urban Trailer Park- Brooklyn
New Housing New York Competition
 

In this scheme, residents would own their module and rent space in a demountable, relocatable temporary structure on leased city property. Upon expiration of the lease, the structure is dismanteled and moved to another vacant property.  Project  is an attempt to make use of vacant properties as they wait for final development to occur.

Module Towers- Queens
New Housing New York Competition
 

On this 10 acre site near the base of the Triborough Bridge, high density stacks of prefabricated modules grow between geothermal utility nodes. Waste heat generated by air conditioning is used to warm outdoor swimming pools adjacent to a soccer field in the summer. In the winter, the pools are emptied to flood the soccer field, and "waste cooling" generated by the residential heat pumps is used to freeze the fields to create a community skating rink. 

Townhouse Infill- Manhattan
New Housing New York Competition
 

A slight twist of the typical four story walkup, based on a "Limited Participation Co-op" ownership model featuring four owners. Each owns a single larger unit with dedicated outdoor space for themselves, (6) rental spaces including (3) live/work, and (2) underground parking spaces. Building also features a "light funnel" at the center, which opens as it rises. (3)  Retail spaces w/ (3) Studio apartments on ground  plus laundry and (2) bedroom caretaker apartment. 

Old Wilson Schoolyard


This effort arose out of the Downtown Wilson design charrette which resulted in the creation of the Wilson Commercial zoning district. At the time, architect Paul Duncker was a board member  of the Old Wilson School Community Center, and submitted a conceptual site plan for the property. HandsOn Design also led a team of volunteer carpenters with donated construction equipment to waterproof and stabilize the existing structure prior to renovation of the building.

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Qube Site Plan