UnStack House

Los Angeles, 2018



UnStack House is a new ground up residence on a steeply sloped lot in northeast Los Angeles. The house is comprised of a loose stack of boxes that cascade down the hillside, rotating and shifting to create outdoor spaces between and above that weave landscape into the experience of the building. These indoor-outdoor spaces have varied orientations with unique and unobstructed views to the San Gabriel mountains.

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Public spaces flow through the house, connected by generous overlaps between each volume, creating dynamic thresholds that shift in both section and plan. Materials real and invented project between spaces creating new graphic figures and further multiplying spatial readings.


Second and Third Floor Plans

The informal spaces are loosely associated with adjacent programs, mixing activity with shifting light and spatial readings.


Animated Elevation

When viewed from the street, alternating shades of brick cohere into a clear stripe pattern that can make the stepping multi-volumetric house align into a reading of graphic flatness. Though the informal organization of the house would reinforce a reading of separateness through the use of separate boxes, the use of material as graphic reinforces a singular reading that unite the boxes as one building. As one circulates around the exterior, the stripe pattern scatters into configurations that can be interpreted in multiple ways.

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At some moments it seems the color differences between faces of the house are caused by shadows, at some moments the colors cohere into a checkerboard pattern, and sometimes it dissolves into randomness. We studied the exterior patterning through an array of projected drawings that are perspectival in plan, but parallel in elevation. Rather than orient to a point of view, the drawings are projections to a vertical line. As a result, the alignments are maintained when viewed from the street, but all edges are vertical.

Project team: David Freeland, Brennan Buck, Taka Tachibe, Alex Kim, Vivian Pham