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ARANGO HOUSE
Prev.: WOOSTER STREET
 
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Lautner's Arango House represents the quintessential Modernist idea of slab versus volume. Because of its emphasis on the contouring of planes and slabs, the composition was determined through a series of polar arrayed points and lines (reminiscent of topographical triangulating projections). This method was used in order to create both the arched and undulating roof structures. Lautner used a single vanishing point to project the roof structure and the subsequent fanning walls. When analyzed in detail, we can distinguish an intricate geometry. The polar projections create a hierarchical set of rhomboids and parallelograms, as found in Moire's effect: an interference pattern of two or more grids set in different angles, therefore creating intricate meshes.

Our proposal exploits this geometry and its effect as it is was developed through direct translation of Lautner's radial geometry and composition. To further progress the idea of volume versus plane, we investigated natural ‘nesting’ systems that engaged in the creation of intricate meshes. The fabrication of insect cocoons and birds nests gave us an insight into the techniques of weaving volumes and thus ‘growing’ the structure. These ‘nesting structures’ are often composed of similar rhomboids as seen in Lautner's geometry for this house.

The new 30% ‘addition’ for the Arango House, as asked for by the Curators of the Getty, hence became more of an ‘integration’, a nesting device which inserts itself between the two large horizontal plates of the living room. The mesh functions as a connecting device, a stair enclosure, and a light screen; at once delineating a sheltered seating space and a framing of the spectacular view inside the vague vastness of the open living room.

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