Communication as a necessity for modern living. A house that talks. A real-life JARVIS fantasy.
Design of The House that Talks is an effect of participation in a competition organised by architectural research initiative Arch out loud (http://www.archoutloud.com/) in collaboration with Last House on Mulholland (LHOM) (http://www.lasthouse.la/). Aim of the competition was to design a new residential icon and to start a conversation on what such icon could be? Our project was awarded Director’s choice award with jury led by Thom Mayne of Morphosis fame.
What is a modern icon?
An iconic house should not only be a reflection of the present, but also embrace a vision of the future. To answer the challenge of designing a modern icon in an even more iconic location, we had to think about what makes a building unique. The constant advancement of technology allows architects to evolve and surpass the boundaries of residential architecture. We are surrounded by technology: from intelligent systems to everyday joys of social media.
The competition site is the last empty plot located in the vicinity of the Hollywood sign – a global icon that evokes dreams and ideas. The concept of our house is thus enhanced by the context: no longer just a pretty structure, it gains universal appeal, promoting both itself and a certain way of living.
Technology impacts our habits. We want to be able to share our thoughts and lives with other people as much as we like to have insight into other people’s lives – yet we still want to control our privacy.
Your house is greeting you? Warning of unauthorized entry? Telling you how it feels? We questioned traditional aesthetics and functionalities, rethinking the archetypal qualities of a house. Communication is a necessity for modern living, and a house that talks adds a ﬁfth dimension to our four-dimensional world. Taking advantage of the ultimate LA location, our building can interact with passers-by. While the interior and layout are relatively traditional, the external envelope is futuristic in terms of its approach to privacy and technology integration.
The three sides of the cube-like structure, which is placed on a concrete plateau, embrace and shield the building with interactive screens. Depending on the wish of the inhabitants, these screens can be either opaque or transparent, and used to display images and messages to the outside world. The multifunctional façade thus acts like a sun and privacy screen, a multimedia display, a means of communication, a Twitter account, and an AI partner to converse with passers-by, visitors, and the owner. The extrovert needs of sharing your thoughts with the outside world can be satisfied in the introverted safety of your own living room.
While the modular façade shields the house from voyeuristic tourist traffic, its glazed fourth wall opens up towards the hill and the view on the Hollywood sign. Many modern urbanites strive to live simple organic lives while still benefiting from all the perks of big city life. To satisfy those needs, the house has its own vegetable garden – an integral element of the dwelling, which acts as its green core and internal communication space. Sculptural moisture collectors spreading above the greenhouse help cultivate the garden and preserve water during dry seasons. The structure of the house and garden thoughtfully aids the natural approach to sustainability, cutting energy levels through natural ventilation, water preservation and sun screening.
The imaginary client is provided with a flexible space, which can be shared with friends, adapted to family life or work from home. Although the house is relatively spacious, the levels of privacy may be controlled in line with the changing needs of a growing family.
The authors of the project are: Tomasz Wuczyński, head architect and founder of Grupa Plus Architekci and architects Julia Morawska and Jakub Róziewicz.