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.
In the closed state, the project reads as a monolith with a corner cube subtraction (the main entry). In the open state, the reading shifts to one of a hollow shell, at times rendered transparen by sightlines that extend through the house and connect back to the city.
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 seven 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. Tracing, isolating and overlaying Serlio’s drawings allows for latent qualities to emerge.
Publication forthcoming 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. This skylight is located as far toward the center of the roof as possible. A line drawn from the skylight’s corner to the center of the roof produces a diagonal dividing wall through the shed’s interior. Reciprocally, the skylight shaft straddles this wall as it passes through the pitched space of one room and emerges in the flat ceiling of the other.
With Alex Jermyn
Palo Alto, California
Photographs: Lucas Fladzinski
The project is the addition of a dining room, reading room and two bedroom suites to an existing 1948 adobe-brick house. Careful consideration was given to the siting of the new addition and its relationship to existing trees, the original house and a previous addition.
Four volumes control view and orchestrate movement through their various internal and external alignments. The reading of the solid/void relationship oscillates between additive and subtractive processes--the result is a rhythmic reciprocity between interior space and garden.