Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
Inside-out house in Mt. Washington, Los Angeles by Ramiro Diaz-Granados
June 10th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Ramiro Diaz-Granados
This project is for a new single family residence located in the Mt. Washington hills of Los Angeles. The property is a small (3,600 s.f.) descending lot with an approximately 2:1 slope facing slightly southwest and within the upper portion of a ravine. Diagonally to the west is a view of downtown and directly across lie a scattered array of houses on a similar slope. The area is characterized by tight winding streets with an eclectic range of houses fronting directly on them. Most of the structures are direct manifestations of the complicated zoning laws that govern the area; maximizing height restrictions, uncovered decks that extend 5 feet beyond the envelope, skirts that extend all the way to the ground, etc. This results in a typology that seems more appropriate for the flats of L.A. and clearly signals the end of the possibility of the case-study experiments not so long ago.
Given these conditions, the strategy for the project is to treat the house as a single crystalline mass that is articulated from the inside out. Loosely borrowing Adlof Loos’ ‘Raumplan’ principles, the house employs a split-level section to organize the three levels of the interior. A vertical shaft that contains a switchback staircase connects the split levels in an integrated manner. This simultaneously produces an interconnectivity of spaces and autonomy between them. Each level is distinct in terms of horizontal spatial relations and surface articulation.
The massing morphology is (in)formed by view orientation, setback requirements and a crystalline affect, all driven by the distribution and articulation of interior spaces. Rather than using the faceting logics that is geometry-driven through advanced software (A), the project privileges the more irregular faceting logics that is matter-driven (B). Quartz crystals were looked at for how to produce faceting through chamfering operations. This was tightly coordinated with the plan to ensure autonomy of external form from the pragmatics and desires of the interior.
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