Today I’m featuring two disconnected and distinct projects linked only by one formal trait – circular forms inset within squares.
The top project riffs on Adolf Loos’ Steiner House, isolating the iconic barrel vaulted roof, expressing it as a bow truss on the interior, and topping it with a central circular skylight.
The bottom is a take on a vestibule in Lutyens’ Middleton Park, where a hemispherical dome is cut rather unceremoniously by a rectangular rather than the typical square room beneath, giving the dome an inherent axis. I’ve topped this with a tall sculptural skylight, at once a nod to both the Choragic Monument and Michael Graves.
A building type that was very common in the western United States in the decades before World War II, the bowtruss-roofed industrial building was a single story brick or concrete masonry shell, topped with a long-span wood truss roof that resembled a bow in section – hence the name. Many of these stand throughout the Los Angeles basin, which are the originators of this project. The brick volume is open to the short sides, pedimented on the approach, and takes hints of Hejduk’s Wall House, where bathrooms stand as separate, formally distinct, elements. A more elaborate exploration is at the bottom, where the restrooms become chimney-inglenook pieces, and the bowtruss volume is surrounded with a peristyle among other things. . .