This one-time medical clinic - specifically the waiting room area - was transformed into an exhibit space, gallery and workspace studios.
photos by Bianca D'Amico
future home for retired artists at the Salton Sea
Founded in 2009, the Eternal Telethon is an open collective group of artists working to establish an artist retirement home at the Salton Sea, Ca. Each fall the group hosts a "live" webcast telethon to raise funds for the on going project. In 2011, myself and Curt Gambetta were approached by the group to begin to imagine the built reality of the rest home.
The first of many workshops / exploratory design meetings included a series of Saturday meetings and a presentation during that year's telethon.
We continue to develop the design portion of the project with the guiding impetus to re-arrange and generate the spaces, habits and interactions inhabited in the rest home via collective input and group methodologies. Simultaneously, we're hoping to provoke new spatial and social overlaps by asking users and ourselves what actions are or are not age specific? How is "growing old" associated with a certain (possibly misunderstood) set of interactions, and within these can we manipulate currently held presumptions about age via spatial interactions? What about the life and afterlife (of people and buildings)? What are the nuts and bolts operations involved to serve a community based on a specific age? How can those operations be augmented to serve other age groups within the community and at large?
Goat Mountain residence
The owners of this north Joshua Tree plot were ecstatic to find that the previous owners decided to leave a derelict geodesic dome on the land when they left.
The design of a new cabin on the site incorporates some of the dome's triangular framing into its overhead trellis, which unites the tree structures and pool of the mini-compound.
They also really like the color red.
This proposal for Palms' cheaply constructed, mid-20th century corporate goods (housing in this case) doesn’t seek to update or repair the reputation of the dingbat. Instead it seeks to explore the externalized surface that thinly veils the highly internalized core, while reaching out to the so-close-yet-so-far public space just outside on the sidewalk and street. On the surface of dingbat buildings we find filigreed ironwork, exotic names in plywood cut fonts, and vast stuccoed surfaces. The empty obsolescence at the level of the street face is ripe for architectural intervention. In the working class neighborhood of Palms, the need for a public/ private intervention and new forms of blurred occupation in these areas especially required. Without the color of West Hollywood, or posh, beachside vibe of Santa Monica, the coalescing of public tenure and strangely orchestrated spatial habitations is particularly tricky. Palms could use a new hybrid typology, and we‘re here to deliver. Through a narrative, this entry speaks to the space in between as a more desirable one to our users than they could imagine and how such a parasitic world of multiple uses might be constructed.
Location: Palms, CA, US (2009)
Mt. Washington residence
This tiny cabin on a sloping lot was owned by a reclusive photographer and the current owners bought it from the bank nearly three years after it had been foreclosed upon.
The design scheme takes the former photo studio and coverts it into a mother-in-law outbuilding - possibly an income-generating studio in the future.
The main house's public/common space is opened up to the bucolic forest landscape surrounding the house, and private spaces are given sunshiny views to the landscape as well. A second story addition gives the house a proper master suite and privacy for mama and poppa.
Frogtown site study
At this long and skinny river-adjacent lot in Elysian Valley (otherwise known as "Frogtown"), the neighbors to the south are apartments and to the north, warehouses.
The owner wanted to maximize the space for herself and small daughter, but also build a rental unit on the site for additional income.
The site strategy simultaneously became one of maximizing the lentgh of the lot and screening/distancing the apartments and warehouses on either side.