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Yerger Residence in Phoenix, Arizona by Chen + Suchart Studio, LLC
August 12th, 2016 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Chen + Suchart Studio, LLC
This site for this project has one main view to the east towards Camelback Mountain. The intent of the project was to focus the views towards the iconic landmark to capture it and have it constantly presenced in the experience of the house while creating other introspective moments of experience.
The project takes the form of an architectural cast-in-place concrete base upon which a floating sheet steel clad open-ended volume and an 8-4-16 masonry volume are situated. An entry sequence leading from the street, along a koi pond, into the entry, and to a negative edge pool distinguish the main public spaces and master suite while offering a place of repose.
The main living space of the house maintains an open plan configuration and borrows Camelback Mountain and brings it into this space. This relationship is further maintained by the ability to slide sliding glass doors completely away for an uninhibited view. Two guest bedrooms, also part of this open-ended volume, afford the view due to the plan configuration of the bathroom and closet spaces along the west elevation.
The master suite by contrast is a more cellular division of spaces that control views and privacy. A study is located at the same level as the entry and living space while the master bedroom and master bathroom are situated higher in section to allow for additional privacy. The master bedroom has one specific corner view whose sliding glass door is mounted to the exterior of the CMU volume in order to exacerbate the specifity of this view. For reasons of privacy, the master suite is an introverted and focused series of interior spaces and exterior spaces while still maintaining a view to Camelback Mountain from the master bedroom.
The CIP concrete base houses a sunken garage and an exercise area that leads to a sunken garden in the back of the house. The exercise area can be opened up to the garden space for outdoor exercise as well. By configuring this base lower than the original grade, the project sought to minimize the impact of the vehicle as part of the primary elevation. The sunken garden allows for a cooler outdoor space which promotes outdoor exercise from the interior exercise area.
The floating volume which houses the living room and two bedrooms is a metal stud framed construction whose cladding is comprised of blind fastened 4’ X 15’ 10 gauge sheets of weathering steel. In order to minimize the economic impact of this cladding, 40,000lbs of steel were cut to size and shipped directly from the steel mill in Alabama to the job site. This strategy proved to be economic as the cost of going directly to the steel mill proved to be less than using lower quality material from a local steel supplier.
The interior finishes of the project juxtapose highly refined materials with raw industrial materials in order to heighten one another’s unique qualities. The interior finishes are comprised of polished wenge millwork, non-directional stainless steel countertops, white Carrera marble, and terrazzo flooring. These finishes constantly enter a dialogue with one another by means of their configuration and junctions.
While the project’s main view and focus is towards Camelback Mountain, the spaces of the project work to not only maintain this view but also seek to establish a new series of contrasting spaces.
Chen + Suchart Studio, LLC
The investigation of design and architectural ideas at Chen + Suchart Studio, LLC involves a rich process where the tools of drawing and sketching by hand, model making, rendering, and computer associated methods are deployed. There exists no ordained methodology at which the design solution is arrived. Programmatic needs, conditions of the site, and attention to the client’s desires all serve to inform this process. Our focus intensifies when we examine the spatial experience of our work. This representation allows us to thoroughly explore the architecture as it will be experienced in its built construct. We do not impose a particular language to a design idea. Rather we allow the process to inform, and as a result allow our language to reinforce the inherent ideas latent within every project.
Thamarit Suchart and Patricia Szu-Ping Suchart completed their studies at the Rhode Island School of Design (Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree and Bachelor of Architecture Degree 1997) and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (Master of Architecture in Urban Design Degree 1999). Chen + Suchart Studio, LLC was established with Szu-Ping Patricia Chen in 2002 while Thamarit was working at Wendell Burnette Architects and Patricia at Jones Studio, as a creative outlet to further independent thinking in design. Patricia left Jones Studio in 2003 to solely focus on the work of Chen + Suchart Studio while Thamarit continued to also work for Wendell Burnette Architects through May 2010. As of May 2010, Thamarit has worked full time with Patricia as the owners and founders of Chen + Suchart Studio, LLC. Thamarit is a registered architect in the State of Arizona.
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