The project represents a building system using steel for the main structure, emphasizing sustainability and adaptability to different and changing needs. On the basis of a rectangular building with a footprint of 316 m², all features of the method are demonstrated:
– Innovation in steel construction and assembly
– Integrated sustainable ventilation and HVAC-concept
– Flexibility of room sizes and room organization
– Repeatability of the building and response to urban functions (adjustment of ground floors)
This residence was built in a neighbourhood of single family houses where extremely restrictive design regulations apply. A pitched roof with red tiles, the attic space ridge height, and the roof slopes were all pre-determined. The basic form of the building with its extensions on both sides is a response to its position at one edge of the development, with a view over a landscape of meadows on a flood plain. This location allows large areas of glazing without any reduction of privacy. The challenge of this commission was to develop a house using a steel construction system in such a way that, while fitting in with the design guidelines, it would still preserve its individuality through the particular type of construction and the way it connects with the landscape.
Prefabrication of the steel construction system made a rapid construction process possible and resulted in an open, permeable quality that can be experienced in all parts of the home: carport, house proper, and terrace pergola.
As the result of a change made in the street alignment, the development of this site represented an impossible challenge for more than 30 years. The unusual shape of the site, a double triangle, led to formal and legal hurdles that could only be overcome by employing innovation. Ultimately the success of the building is based on an expressive form that exploits a generally unfavourable situation. Thanks to the careful selection of materials, the building engages in a dialogue with the surrounding buildings and green spaces. The rectangular bays of the ventilated, hung ceramic tile façade along the street on the north side reflect the neighbouring brick buildings and the high-rise buildings opposite. The glass façades looking towards the green areas on the south and west are a response to the requirements of working and living. A long slab facing the street completes the urban block. Instead of negating the surroundings, the modern materials and the form of the building harmonise with the urban context. This building won awards not only for its modern steel construction but also for its excellent urban renewal qualities.
The houses, which were designed using the T.E.S.T method demonstrate that the direct application of standard, prefabricated industrial
parts can lead to a high quality that appeals to higher income groups, such as the families of a film director and a project manager. The
houses are both complete with their own respective living areas, service areas and sleeping areas. They are connected in the middle by an
outdoor stairwell and landings at each level.
The plot is a long and skinny piece of land at the foot of the Santa Monica Mountains. The upper floors of the houses offer an outstanding
panoramic view from downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean.
The client, a director of a research institute, desired a spacious interior, which was required by needs of his family and by the occasional receptions that he hosted for national and international scientists. The main living area, kitchen and master bedroom are located on the main floor, while the children’s rooms are in the large cellar, opposite the efficient service area.
The building was orientated, according to the site, in a north-south axis. A central hallway rises to form a clerestory that bisects two shed roofs. Both the overhead skylight and the generous glazing of the facades allow the inner spaces of the house to have an especially cheerful and light character. The structural work, a wood and steel skeleton, was carried out with minimal materials, adding to the light character of the house.
The house is the first prototype of the experimental building system T.E.S.T., a system which maximizes the use of pre-finished industrial components available straight from the manufacturer‘s catalogues. The cliffside property in Beverly Hills had a slope of 40° and was considered unbuildable, making it easy to acquire. One enters the house through the top floor (kitchen and dining room) and “climbs” down to the main living area, with it’s large terrace. The lowest floor holds the work and hobby rooms.
The skeleton structure makes it possible so that not all spaces must be load-bearing. The large terraces act as giant air conditioners, using the natural breezes to cool the house. The system forms a type of collage architecture, an architecture the propagates an inexpensive and direct use of the difficult unity of divergent parts rather than the easy unity of integrated designed ones.
For a building site in a woodland clearing, the client sought a concept that thematically addressed living with nature through a direct relationship between indoor and outdoor spaces. Even in the shade of the woods, he wanted to live without artificial light during the day and to experience the changing times of day and seasons inside the house. In addition, the house should also make eco-
nomic sense in terms of energy savings. The floor plan was positioned between the trees in such a way that no tree worth preserving had to be felled. A glazed shed roof above the central circulation spine provides light for the internal areas, and, by means of solar heat gain during the winter, contributes to the heating of the house. The north-facing external walls are solid for the most part, whereas the south-facing walls are generously glazed. The house is based on a steel frame grid of 1.80 x 1.80 metres with rectangular hollow structural steel columns and open web joists. The steel decking resting on the joists is left
unclad. The client sees the house as an open structure which ought not to be ‘completed’ but further developed in stages. During construction, the client was personally involved in the building process.