top of page

Acoustic Place & The Sense of Home

A House for the Blind: Marimba House

The loss of sight or the absence of its fuller faculties affects approximately fifteen million people in the United States alone. While numerous private and public spaces are available to the diverse people groups that endure blindness, there are few habitations purposed to respond expressly, experientially, and meaningfully to its manifold influences upon daily life. Architects know very well the cadre of assumptions that preexist the perception of a work of Architecture, assumptions that assist in the very descriptions of its domestic form. Yet both for prospering architecture and the institution of home, we find a new horizon through positing a novel performance for the house – that toward a space of inclusive sensory participation. This prospect also entails the necessity for a sonorous, poetic, and imaginative modality for dwelling. In this more uncommon light, a fictive order can be framed by the formulable notion: The imagination creates its impression and is often the materialization of thought; imagination has the potential to generate that image and that image need not be sourced in tangible reality. Considerable room is found in residential Architecture as a mode of articulating an imaginative setting that encircles matters particular to and reliant upon perceptible qualities of intimate enclosures. As the locale of that encircling takes the form we term ‘a house’, its boundaries ebb from the dogma of colloquial visual accommodation and extend toward fundamental incorporation. So then an appropriate house for the blind is acoustic, deferential, and a domicile in attunement. It is neither dymaxion, nor deconstructive, but rather oneric, disclosing a feeling of intimacy, threshold, and access to the discursive jaunts we traverse simply by tarrying.

The Marimba House Studies are a series of domestic settings open to alternative proprioceptive faculties. Its design ethos reinterprets the process by which places are conceived and formed; a design approach informed by the gathering of domestic themes understood to be more or less communicated to us by the organs of impression and potent and welcoming means that surpass sight alone. Herein, the clime of the house may be more clearly fixed on furthering latent beauties in the realm of the soul - the soul that “ …never thinks without phantasm.” Marimba house is an authentic place of residency where blindness does not limit the insular lensing of home and the mind’s eye has an acuity undimmed by any visual impairments. The itinerant encounters of this dwelling occur in a fielding beyond the first senses. This is a precinct of resonance, harmonies between the chorus of physical sense, memory, and a schematization of space-unfolding. This space is an empathetic platform for an genuine interaction between in-dweller and inverse. In short, this House for the Blind is conceived as an acoustic refuge framed by navigable horizons. Its envelope is treated in a way that seeks to render the inscriptions of the house as recessive and focus an audible atmosphere of domesticity that re-ordinates the despotic rigors of sight. Its scaled materiality, refractive planes, and hapticity are choreographed to compliment a sight-less habitation. Marimba house is characterized by the co-presentation of the two natures of the wall - as a partition and filter. The relationships between its floors and ceilings offer an echo of the employment of touch as a sensory reality and sound as a way of seeing. Its holdings comprise a colloquially uninhibited space of living within a prevenient loveliness. As for the synthesis of its underpinnings, it is the culmination of thinking and design of a structure to be encountered, inhabited, and unseen. We recognized this as a unique interval of disciplinary reeducation in the hope that –Architecture can proffer latent communications, sensory engagements, and accessible essences without relying on its first patron- the naked eye.

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Some twenty years ago, In my sophomore year of college, I met an Architect for the first time. While i had seen the fruits of his profession supporting my life and anchoring many of my memories, I had

bottom of page