I have been thinking a lot about Design Star and HGTV lately and how it’s for the masses and isn’t exactly avante garde, and how that’s not a bad thing, it simply doesn’t make me want to watch it very often. However, this week I found one show, Extreme Living, that features some very unusual architecture and I very much enjoyed the episode. One of the houses, named R3, and designed by architect Lloyd Russell really caught my attention.
In what he calls “my own version of the Flatiron building,” Lloyd designed a house to fit into a 1500-square-foot triangular lot that hugs a busy street on one side and an interstate embankment on the other. The lot is in a great if not noisy area of San Diego, and it serves as a community art space, a studio, the site of many dinner parties and Lloyd and his wife’s living space.
Lloyd used a lot of architectural tricks to make the space appear larger. The narrow living room has 20-foot ceilings and windows that jut out 1.5 feet (left side of photo above). The design revolved somewhat around soundproofing as best as possible. The coolest thing is that the large window you see (above photo, right side) cranks out via steel cables and becomes a glass deck one story in the air!
Because of the crapola and mysterious condition of the undocumented fill on the lot, the house is built upon a structure that extends 50 feet down into the earth to the bedrock! This is truly extreme and would probably deter most people who weren’t out to achieve a personal architectural feat. However, what I love most about this project is that it is the ultimate urban infill solution. Think of how much space is wasted alongside interstates, or even in cloverleaf exit configurations. I just have one question: Can you feng shui a triangle, or does the chi keep bouncing off the point and messing everything up?
All photos from Lloyd Russell’s website