A duplex in Ocean Park, California is remodeled as a two bedroom house and a one bedroom apartment. The apartment is located on the ground floor, while the house takes up the upper levels. The bedrooms of the house are on the second level, while the third level accommodates a living/dining area, a kitchen and a studio, all contained in one 24 foot high space. The main living space of the house is meant to evoke the sensibility of the loft in which the owner formerly lived.
The architecture of the house addresses the contextual surroundings, while simultaneously resolving the conflicting demands for privacy and connection to society through a contemporary archaeology and the use of found objects. The foundation, perimeter walls and floors of the existing duplex are reused. The wood frame, lath, and cement composition board structure of the renovation remain uncovered. Ten fabricated steel pieces, made up of found parts of machinery,have been inserted into the living space. These are functional objects; they are made into structure, stairs, showers, skylights and other utilitarian elements.While the exterior of the house is contextual and traditional, and thus protects the private world of the interior with a facade of formality, the ‘dead tech’ pieces on the inside import a technological world into the very heart of the house.
The 6th Street Residence, which was a threshold project in every respect, pursued the idea of tension in and through its non-contiguous facades. It entailed an in-depth process of investigation long before the project was considered realizable. The house’s conceptual genesis lay in the idea of salvaging industrial artifacts and urban debris—a sort of contemporary archeology—and reincorporating them within the domestic space. These discarded fragments of spent technology are employed against the grain: they distort scale, subvert typological expectations, and assert functional neologisms. They act both as nonsequiturs and as connective tissue that gives the project its overall coherence. This initial appropriation led immediately to an attack of the cube, the complete breaking down of singularity whereby each façade belonged to its own site condition. The core of the interior space is defined by an oculus that cuts through the main floor, illuminated from above by a giant skylight and inhabited at the ground level by a glass cube enclosing the shower. Acting as the focal point and centerpiece of the living space, the unconventional shower subverts a kind of taken-for-granted domestic prudery, placing functions of hygiene and the body at the center of the home rather than banishing them to its margins.Both ludic and earnest, the shower cube act as a wry commentary on visibility and invisibility, privacy and specularity.