Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
Sola/Wright Residence in Los Angeles, California by Escher GuneWardena Architecture
August 19th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Escher GuneWardena Architecture
This project is the design of a 2, 400 square foot residence for a young couple, an artist and an arts administrator, in the Glassell Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Their requirements included an open living/dining/kitchen space, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and a studio space.
The design of this house addresses the increasingly familiar situation in Los Angeles of clients seeking to build a new house within a modest budget being compelled to develop “difficult sites” – steep, uphill or downhill lots, often considered unsuitable for building by conventional standards. The proposed solution seeks a balance between dealing with economic concerns, engineering requirements, and the creating an architectural experience particular to the site. In this case, the site is a hillside covered with native shrubs, trees and grasses, with views of a nature reserve in one direction, and the city in the other.
Building department requirements for parking, turnaround space, and setbacks of the house from slopes called for providing flat areas at street level and at the rear of the building. Economical engineering of retaining walls led to the development of a scheme with three 12-foot high stepped terraces, carved out of the slope. Considering the above requirements, the concept for the house evolved from an effort to integrate the building to the hillside, yet, clearly delineating the man-made interventions from the surrounding landscape. The retaining walls become the demarcation. Massing of the building consists of three rectangular tube volumes stacked lightly on the three levels, which step up the hillside. The open ends of the tubes are entirely glazed, directing the views either toward the city or the park.
The lowest volume contains the garage. The middle volume contains bedrooms, and a tunnel-like studio space spanning the entire length of the building. The upper-most volume contains living, dining, and kitchen areas. Plywood-clad boxes, which enclose stairs, baths, and utility rooms, float within the interior space of the tubes at each level, defining individual areas for different functions. All interior surfaces of the tubes are treated in smooth white finishes to emphasize the notion of weightlessness and to accentuate their directional relationship to the outdoors.
Budget considerations prescribed the use of standard Type-V wood construction methods and readily available building components throughout. The entire exterior of the building (roof, walls and soffits) is “shrink-wrapped” in an inexpensive, energy efficient, thermoplastic roofing membrane. Its high solar reflectance and thermal emissivity decreases heat flow through the building while helping to mitigate systematic increases in urban air temperature and improving air quality.
Contact Escher GuneWardena Architecture
One Response to “Sola/Wright Residence in Los Angeles, California by Escher GuneWardena Architecture”