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Vertical House

Lead Designers
Entry Description

Impossible to express in plan due to the constrained size of the site, this 2400 sf residence diverges from the pre-established response to front and back yards by balanced articulation of the skin on all faces in the vertical direction.

A simple material, cement fiber board, has been innovatively used in conjunction with three types of glazing. This allows a powerful commentary on surface manipulation, defining architecture through the envelope of a volume rather than through the volume itself. The state of hybridity in the surface formalizes the expression of a simple box while responding to the site restrictions. Verticality is again expressed in the central stair core, which extends beyond the roof for views of the Pacific Ocean, only three blocks from the site.

To maximize usable square footage, the site limitations have been pushed to the limits in both plan and height requirements, forcing the linearity of the design on paper to be translated to built form. The steel moment frame frees the skin from structural restraints, allowing an unrestricted rhythm of glazing, channel glass and solid panels. The skin illustrates the disparity of structure and envelope affected by different yet merging positions of exterior glazing. Most simply, one idea couple with and realized through materiality defines the architecture of this residence. The impact is both powerful and artistic.