‘komb house’ by karim rashid
‘komb house’ is a dwelling that utilizes technology to create both modern and traditional materials with
a minimal impact on the environment. ecological ideas are incorporated into the house that
has been designed by karim rashid. this includes solar panel heated water, energy efficient appliances,
reuse of pluvial and grey water, low energy LED lighting and raised radiant flooring. the structure can be
easily disassembled and its materials, such as wood, metal, glass and solar panels can be reused.
the dwelling’s exterior shell is composed of repeating reclaimed wood fins, each set at slightly different profiles
resulting in a dynamic, fluid quality to both the outside and inside walls of the house. their varying angles
and depth create a plan on privacy. from the outside, one can barely see into the house, but from the interior,
the natural light creates a play of shadows. the self-supporting façade is prefabricated off-site and assembled
on location for modularity and ease.
the overall interior space is composed of four main spaces representing our main daily activities:
play, eat, sleep and cleanse. the central space draws on islamic patios, featuring an oasis with a skylight
and a center plunge pool. the skylight opening controls the house’s temperature. when open, it captures rain water
which is filtered by the pool. a kinetic art sculpture levitates above, rotating to capture wind power
and to distribute energy throughout the home.
exterior of the komb house
detail of the exterior’s reclaimed wood fins
the kitchen and living areas
the house’s layout flows from the central pool, extending into four quadrants that make up the
living room, bathroom, bedroom and dining room. the black floor morphs into different floor inlays
throughout the kitchen and bathroom. in the living room and bedroom, the flooring motif translates
into soft carpeting. the multi-colored vinyl flooring and carpet contain recycled content
and low VOC emission materials.
a large, single, oval couch sits in the center of the living room, creating a sense of gathering and community.
above it hangs a light-weight chandelier, creating an ambient glow for the entire living space.
a small study area furnished with a fiberglass desk and office chair are tucked into the corner of the room.
the kitchen merges the formal dining room and breakfast area. its
‘origami’ unit features a concealed fridge
and two built-in gorenje
ovens. the freestanding, faceted island has a built-in induction hob,
sink and garbage chute. the cantilevered counter creates an
informal breakfast / bar setting.
adjacent to the kitchen is the formal
the bathroom and bedroom areas
while the living spaces are partially opened to the abode’s central area, the bedroom and bathroom areas
are enclosed by white translucent glass walls and sliding doors allowing natural light to passing-through,
while maintaining privacy. these two private areas are connected by a walk-in closet.
the bathroom features a central floating mirror with lit edge that divides the sinks and bathtub area.
one can watch television through a one way mirror built into the bathtub side of the divider.
when the television is off, you see only a mirror. the shower and toilet areas share back-to-back
configurations to facilitate plumbing within a single wall. the shower stall is created by an oval glass screen
featuring digitally printed ‘technorganic’ artwork. the room is also furnished with a glass vanity table,
cozy armchair and lamp. the water-proof floor inlay is meant to reflect one’s flow between ‘wet & dry’ areas
within the bathroom.
karim rashid’s sketch of the komb house’s division of space