half house

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While taking its name from one of John Hejduk’s many unbuilt projects, the One-Half House, this project offers a different interpretation of an architecture of halves.  One half-plan of Richardson meets one half-plan of Neutra.  The entry portico is recessed into the building line, and takes cues from some vernacular Angeleno tract homes from the 1930’s (concurrent with Neutra’s earlier formal explorations).  I do think that the stucco variation at the bottom is much more convincing than the overtly Richardsonian brick variant – but maybe it needs to be weaned of a little too much Krier (Miami, or Windsor).

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ellwood makes a square

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Driving through El Segundo the other week, I ran across a nice Miesian office block.  A quick internet search for the name ‘Xerox’ which was left stained on a concrete wall and I stumbled across an all too familiar name – Craig Ellwood (Originally built for Scientific Data Systems, which was later bought out by Xerox).  A floor plan confirmed my suspicions – a perfect square on 64 columns, raised one floor off the ground with a directional access given by two long walls on the east and west facades, and storefront gazing on the north and south, all centered on a cubic central atrium.  The details are almost perfect derivatives of Mies’, but the vertical window mullions stop at the spandrel panels rather than continue full height as MVDR would have done (see Murphy’s Daley Center compared with Mies’ IBM tower).  The whole project is undergoing a less than inspiring renovation by SOM, with absolutely no heed for the building module and planted ‘green’ walls.  Too bad.

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mies + neutra, yet again

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frame has been up and running for four months now, with new drawings featured daily, with nearly 90 posts and over 240 individual drawings.  Some projects are new, others have been resuscitations of old sketches and long-forgotten partis.  Often, after I’ve made a nice new shiny post, I’ll stumble upon a relevant detail hidden away in one of my many sketchbooks (or worse, loose sheets of paper fluttering about…).  Such is the case with today’s post, which further elaborate upon the very first project featured on framemies + neutra.

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of all the burger joints in all the world

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I was waiting in the drive-thru line at that iconic California burger stand when I began to think of all the ways that the concrete masonry building was banal.  And yet, with a few interesting moments – the angled drive-up windows, for instance.  My proposal takes that window and wraps it over the entire rear of the building, Mies-like, allowing customers in the car to watch their burgers hop off the line.  The dine-in patio is flanked with stylized palm tree columns, hinting back to Hans Hollein and John Nash before him.  A central oculus sits over the point-of-sale, with the iconic red standing-seam metal roof rendered as a hip.

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a gas station and the california vernacular

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Driving along the coast through Laguna Beach, I noticed a funky little structure now operating as the offices for a small auto repair shop – it was clearly an old gas station, with the concrete pump pads still extant, which I’ve drawn in the top-most drawing.  The fascinating bit was that the overall building was a  gabled Spanish stucco hut, complete with a red tile roof and chimney, but the service awning was a flat modernist roof, and which cut deep into the gabled volume.  The overlap and simultaneity of languages was so simple, irreverent, and playful.  So I did my own variation: the plan is the bottom half of the top drawing, the half-elevations are below.

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