Page House and Gallery
Photographs: Naho Kubota
This new house, accommodating an extensive and rotating collection of contemporary ceramic art, is in a mixed-used, light-industrial neighborhood. The form is a twenty-eight-foot cube, determined in part by the choice of a four-foot square porcelain panel for the building’s facade and surrounding patio. The monochrome exterior is also related to the tile, to which metals and window shades are color-matched. Most walls house pockets for doors and windows--a doubling of the house that also conceals infrastructural elements. Organizationally, the division of the interior is based on a recursive diagram, with walls branching off a switchback stair.
Santa Cruz, California
This ground-up house occupies the rear portion of an exceptionally long, anomalous site within the urban fabric of Santa Cruz. An existing house at the front of the property will be converted to an Accessory Dwelling Unit, allowing for a new single family house to be constructed on the site. The house is a 1,600 square-foot, low-lying structure that is nestled into the existing landscape. The house, organized around an equal division of living and sleeping quarters, ‘bends’ at its midpoint to preserve existing mature trees. That midpoint occurs at the thinnest portion of the plan, where the roof rises to a peak and unifies two otherwise separate portions of the project.
This project is a new bedroom wing addition to a 1916 bungalow. The interior walls of the old house are cleared to create a space for communal use by the family. A difference in section between the bungalow and the rear yard drives the design, revealed in the unusual condition of a large window between an outdoor deck and the corridor of the addition. The dimensions of the window are at once generous and strange, determined by the width of the deck and the datum of door heights in the addition.
These drawings reconstruct the scenarios of “off-square” sites from Sebastiano Serlio’s On Situations. Serlio approaches the problem of site irregularities in practical terms. Each scenario lays out problems an architect might encounter in everyday practice and offers strategies for their resolution: courtyards, stairs, the expressive potential of ‘poche’: these and other elements mediate the situated symmetries of the examples.
Published in PLAT 8.0: Simplicity
Wallace Art Shed
This painting studio appropriates an existing structure that falls under stringent codes for its transformation. Zoning setbacks allow for new fenestration to occur only in one corner of the building, but the program called for the splitting of the interior space into two rooms and for them to both be lit naturally. Two new openings to the exterior, of the same proportions but of different sizes to the existing openings, are added in the permitted zone. The problem of natural light is resolved with the use of a device akin to an embrasure, or a skylight that passes through the conceptually solid block of the shed, from the roof, through one room and to the other.