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Monday, July 21st, 2008

Modern Architecture: The Triangle House


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
6 Comments » | Published in Architecture, Design TV, House Tours, modern inspiration  |  6 Comments

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

About Becky

Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the "Editorial Director" here on Hatch, you can find me spewing lots of design opinions and tips over at Houzz. Make me happy -- leave a comment!



  1. greengal says:

    July 21st, 2008 at 6:04 am (#)

    A triangle would have to be heavily disguised to achieve any positive feng shui influences, as the building by its nature is sending poison arrows out in three directions.

  2. Gina Federico says:

    July 21st, 2008 at 8:29 am (#)

    Oooooh – This is a terrific building! You’re so right about urban infill – let’s hope more people take note and get creative like Lloyd Russell. Something I don’t understand, though, is what you mean by “the large window cranks out via steel cables and becomes a glass deck one story in the air”. Do you mean the window becomes the floor of the deck, cantilevered out, flush with the interior floor?

  3. William says:

    September 4th, 2008 at 9:56 pm (#)

    Yes gina there is a window about 10 x 15 that cantilevers over a 1 story height creating a deck.

  4. Becky says:

    September 5th, 2008 at 7:32 am (#)

    Thanks William; Gina, I’m sorry, I’ve been traveling so much that I missed your comment.


  5. Kyle says:

    March 14th, 2009 at 10:09 pm (#)

    He guys ….. WOW Love your place. My next Build you gave me so many ideas. I see you guys ride. Facebook me @ Kyle Jean Conlon would love to get to know you guys . You Both seem Kool. Im always touring the U.S. On my Harley and found a great Cigar Bar downtown San Diego. Take Care ride safe -Kyle

  6. josh says:

    May 8th, 2010 at 12:54 pm (#)

    Hey guys, I live in Canada and saw your home on HGTV about 2 years ago. Ironically enough I was vacationing in San Diego and was lost, driving around when I drove past your home. I must say, it is even more beautiful in real life….

    great design. great use of space. hopefully people can learn something from your resourcfulness.

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