Location: Hollywood, California
Area: 1250 square feet
The La Cuesta accessory building was commissioned by the owner of a production company who required a private office space to work from home as well as a space adjacent to the pool for entertaining. The building’s form is a response to the confined site and the strict zoning laws of the neighborhood.
The ground floor has a large expanse of sliding doors that open the space up to the pool area creating a space that is ideal for enjoying Southern California’s mild climate. The second-floor windows and balcony are positioned to maximize the spectacular view of downtown Los Angeles that is visible over the existing house.
The building’s parking is accessed directly from the street, eliminating the need for the existing driveway. This allows for the building to be moved closer to the property line, better utilizing the available area and allowing the building to create privacy from the street and neighbors. The screened exterior gives the building a sense of transparency, relating it to the existing trees that surround it.
Location: Studio City, California
Area: 1,024 square feet
The primary intention of the Coldwater Studio was to create a building that provides enclosure and security while remaining open to the exterior. This was achieved through carving an atrium into the north façade, filling the studio with indirect light, while providing privacy from the neighbors. The building is clad in 2” by 2” redwood slats with a 4” gap between the screen and the building's envelope. This screen forms a rough protective layer around the building, while imbuing it with lightness and transparency. The play of screen’s shadow on the building enlivens the façade and softens the building's mass. The effect of the light coming through façade is similar to the light filtering through the trees behind the studio, creating an intimate relationship between the building and its surroundings. The redwood of the screen has been left untreated. This reduces maintenance, and allows the wood to take on a silvery gray patina that softens the exterior, further connecting it to the natural surroundings.4
Location: Sherman Oaks, California
Area: 2,690 square feet
The Norwich residence is a home for an ER doctor, her film producer husband and their two young children. The primary challenge of the project was to fit the relatively large residence on a narrow suburban lot, without creating a hulking elongated building. Our strategy was to divide the building into quadrants so that it appears to be a cluster of four smaller building, rather than a large “mass”.
Each of the quadrants contains a bedroom with a distinct vaulted roof, creating high sculptural ceilings. The quadrants are connected by a lower cross-shaped roof that covers the circulation. Large windows are placed at each end of the cross, so that in every direction, one moves towards light. Each bedroom has a private “carved” balcony that acts as a light-well, connecting the room to the outdoors while maintaining privacy. These balconies are clad in cedar, which brings a warmth and softness into the space.
CHA also designed the project’s hardscape and landscape, composed of hybrid indoor/outdoor spaces that connect the house to garden “rooms”.4
Location: Valley Village, California
Area: Existing: 1143 square feet. Added: 305 square feet
The Shurkin project is a home for a young music industry couple and their two small children in the Studio City neighborhood of Los Angeles. The project was designed to be built in two phases so that the house could grow with the family.
A 300-square-foot master suite was added in the second phase of the project. The bedroom was conceived as an interdependent volume acting as a sanctuary that still maintains a connection to the rest of the house. The bedroom is focused inwardly on a private glazed shade garden and up toward the sky through two 17’ tall light wells. The natural light that fills the spaces creates a sense of calm and reprieve. One light well faces north, gathering soft light throughout the day, while the other faces west to catch the evening light. The shade garden between the addition and house, is a large terrarium that animates the bedroom with color and life.
The exterior of the addition is almost entirely clad in standing seam metal panels that accentuate its monolithic form. Viewed from the east, the addition appears to have been split diagonally at the roof, creating a dramatic valley. Viewed from other angles the building has entirely different massing, giving the addition a dynamic presence in the rear yard. The master bathroom is coveted in inexpensive tile in a bold pattern that was created by pixilating an image of a Sol LeWitt painting.
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Area: 450 square feet
The Limaçon Pavilion was designed in collaboration with Hernan Garcia, William Choi and Hiroshi Jacobs. This project, lead by Prof. Ingeborg Rocker, examined the brick from a historical, theoretical, design and fabrication perspective. Debate focused on the limits of what could fall under the rubric of a “brick” and its relevance to contemporary interest in modularity and discretization.
The two major components of the design are the brick and its reference surface that the brick was instantiated on. The geometry of the brick was determined to maximize its rigidity and bearing complicity as well as to allow the brick to transform to the requirements of the reference surface. To reduce, cost the brick was designed to be fabricated in chip board, creating the challenge of cutting and folding 1400 sheets into volumetric bricks.
The reference surface was derived from the lofting of a limaçon curve. In addition to fulfilling the requirement for a “wall vault” (simultaneously wall and vault), this design produces a structurally efficient minimal surface. The surface started as a pitched vault that flattened into a vertical wall allowing for access to an inner court.
This design was selected for fabrication of a one-to-one mock-up built by Mais Al Azab, William Choi, Hernan Garcia, Casey Hughes, Alstan Jakubiec, Lesley McTauge, Marta Nowak, Mark Pomarico, Andrea Love, and Alex Yoon.
- Location: Silver Lake, California
Area: Existing: 1619 square feet. Added: 541 square feet
Status: Permit approval
The Egan residence is a 541 square foot addition to a home in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. The existing Spanish-style house was comprised of small rooms that separated the living spaces from the backyard. We retained as much as possible of the existing house to maximize the modest budget, focusing the addition to the rear of the house to create a connection between the living spaces and garden / pool. The addition is comprised of a large open plan kitchen, living room and dining room with vaulted ceilings and a new master suite, which opens onto a private view-garden.
- This project converts an existing accessory building into a guestroom and creates a new artist studio. The existing building has been reengineered to allow for the removal of the horizontal tie beams. This creates an uninterrupted vaulted space that greatly increases the interior volume without altering the exterior envelope.
Location: West Los Angeles, California
Area: 550 square feet
Within the guestroom a new bathroom was added. The rough treatment on the exterior of this bathroom volume creates a contrast with the other lighter and more refined materials of the project. The interior of the bathroom is clad with hexagonal tile throughout, creating a continuous surface between the floor and walls. The new studio was added to the rear of the guesthouse. Sliding windows wrap the corner of the new studio allowing it to open to the garden beyond.
Location: Los Angeles, California
Area: 125,000 square feet
Museum as Civic Space- Rather than another physically and culturally disconnected museum, Los Angeles needs an accessible civic space where people gather to enjoy art and community. This proposal for the Broad Contemporary Art Museum brings the city into the museum’s fold by supplementing the museum’s program with much needed non-commercial public space. The Museum’s open public space is created by suspending the galleries from a raised plinth. This frees up the ground for a series of plazas, sculpture gardens and water features that connect the museum with Los Angeles’ distinctive urbanism and climate.
Oasis in the Desert- The plinth shades this public space from the desert heat while allowing the space to remain open to the surroundings. This maximizes natural ventilation and the cooling effects of the water features. Microclimates created by the building form a natural transition from the heat of the surrounding neighborhood to the coolness of the galleries.
Building as City- Just as Los Angeles is organized by it’s horizontal ground plane, the galleries are organized by the plinth level. This level unifies the museum's diverse gallery typologies into a coherent whole without detracting from each gallery’s unique character.
Visiting and Curating Flexibility- The gallery design provides the visitor with multiple routes through the museum. This non-linear arrangement also allows for curatorial flexibility and creates the possibility of simultaneously staging multiple exhibits. The variety of gallery types creates the optimal setting for the diverse scales and media represented within contemporary art.
Location: Beverly Hills, California
Area: 2900 square feet
Status: Permit approval
This residence is located on an ideal site with unobstructed panoramic views, in Beverly Hills. The building is positioned on the front and side yard setback to maximize the rear yard and the view, which are the major foci of the residence.
A “lantern” volume over the living room creates a double height space that allows defused light to filter in during the day and emits a soft glow at night. The opposite end of the building is anchored with a guest suite. This suite is detached from the main house on the ground level creating the option of a private entrance. An open-air stair within this volume leads to a roof deck with 360-degree views.
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Program: Warming Hut
Area: 275 square feet
Client: Warming Huts: An Art + Architecture Competition on Ice
Ice Cave punctuates Assiniboine River trail, creating an ethereal shelter where people can gather protected from the elements. Inside the hut is a platform that changes in height and depth to accommodate different types of inhabitation (sitting, standing, reclining, etc.). Inhabitants are oriented towards the open middle of the hut, creating a sense of gathering and community, while experiencing the light filtering through the thickened façade.
The building’s envelope is comprised of two layers creating a barrier from the elements and giving the hut a sense of deep transparency and mass. The outer layer is a thin shell of ice that is formed by applying water to rope netting. The interior layer is translucent tent fabric stretched over guide wires strung to the hut’s tubular metal frame. Together these layers block the winter wind and create an insulating air pocket. The ice façade allows diffuse light to penetrate the hut and links the hut to the wintery surrounding. The hut resonates with the Forks river context through the use of materiality (ice) and the winter images the hut evokes.