The Vertical House, a 2400 square foot residence located along active Pacific Avenue in Venice, California, diverges from the pre-established response to front and back yards by balanced articulation of the skin on all faces.
A simple material, cement fiber board, has been innovatively used in conjunction with three types of colored glazing. This allows a powerful commentary on surface manipulation, defining architecture through the envelope of a volume rather than through the volume itself. Adhering formally to a simple box, while responding to the site restrictions that include extremely narrow setbacks and selected views, the articulated surface formalizes the state of hybridity inherent to the project.
Circulation and program are defined through a centrally located vertical core. This central core pulls away from the exterior envelope which adds greater length and dimension to the interior volume. Inclusive in this core is a central stair which extends to the roof where a reading room and deck allow views of the Pacific Ocean, only one block from the site.
The steel moment frame frees the skin from structural restraints, allowing an unrestricted rhythm of glazing, channel glass and solid panels. The skin illustrates the disparity of structure and envelope affected by different yet merging positions of exterior glazing. Most simply, one idea realized through materiality and light defines the architecture of this residence.