Year: 2015

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Team: Jimenez Lai, May Wong, Roojiar Sadeghilalabadi, Eric Hsu, Pauline Chen, Heidi Alexander, Steve Martinez, Brian Daugherty

There is a ready willingness in the culture of Los Angeles to accept a house being comprised of a series of detached architectural envelopes. In many cases, we find separations of architectural programs away from the “house” itself, yielding in other singular and complete envelopes such as garage, shed, cabin, guest house, outhouse, greenhouse, and so forth. As long as this urbanism of scattered objects is inscribed inside of a single property line, they can still be considered an individual house.

Perhaps the warm and dry climate year-round contributes to the possibility that the corridor and living room are exterior spaces. However, beyond just an architectural deconstruction, taking the house apart also influences lifestyle choices. Playing outdoors is an important aspect of domestic life in Southern California. Outdoor cooking can happen with or without a ritualistic celebration, and the casual reading under the sun on a recliner during normal weekends can happen over Christmas. This is a unique lifestyle that colder or wetter climates cannot enjoy for twelve months out of the year, and its effects on domestic architecture have become a normalized condition in Los Angeles.

In our proposal, we introduce a collection of architectural objects, where every enclosure contains one single architectural program. Because the objects are not parallel with one another, the gaps between the objects allow for contractions and expansions of spaces. The management of the larger and smaller gaps imply a set of domestic stories. From a dog house facing directly at the garage in anticipation for its owner’s return home, to the outdoor hearth that functions as a central piazza of a micro city, or the teenager’s room with a private entry and exit for in case of trouble, this proposal turns domestic architecture into a canvas for a family portrait.