welcome! i’m just going to jump right in.
this film is about a building which is going to be under construction soon. it’s a building I designed. well, designed,
did the construction documents for, and permitted as a one-man operation, if I
can toot my own horn. but really these problems are not so difficult to solve
they’re just extremely labor-intensive. the difficulty arises from the challenge
of having meaningful ideas about structure and human inhabitation and
concretizing these into built form. so everything you see and are about to see:
drawings, physical model, digital models are all made by me. there were a few consultants on board: a
civil engineer who did the structural calculations and added this moment frame
you see here to resist the lateral forces, a geotechnical engineer for the
soils report, and a gentleman who our title 24 energy calculations which went
well because I’d designed the building with solar orientations considered like
any true architect would. but architects never make a fuss about this because
it’s boring, but I make a point of talking about this to resist this image that the
world has an architecture that is a type of decoration. so, without further ado the design of this house is extremely
site-specific. to some architects the context is arbitrary, the building is an
autonomous object. to other architects context is everything and studying these
architects I realized that for this house want to design it from the inside
out but context is still key this is the context. there’s the existing
building. this two-story one which is going to be demolished sadly even though it’s really not doing too well.
we’re in Manhattan Beach California which has tremendous upsides great whether it’s
usually about 10 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than inland so cal it’s walkable. you can get from from residential zones to
commercial zones, restaurants things like that very easily on foot pretty quickly.
you can get to the beach easily you can walk to the beach most of the houses view the water. this house is no
exception. it’s designed for that. and there are also some downsides like the parking
issue and the coastal climate which is pretty corrosive to a lot of building
materials like a lot of the wood around here will rot and a lot of the metals
will rust so I went through plenty of these formal
iterations but i chose the materiality early on based on would really last in
that kind of climate: stucco – great kind of weather. copper will patina as a
protective layer and it will not rust and decay well there’s some steel it’s exposed the
the steel moment frame i love steel structure I’m gonna be honest here looks
too awesome to not expose. but that’s gonna be primed painted treated so you
won’t have to worry about it much more than anything else. you see here the most
recent recent version painted black. and people respond psychologically well the
seeing structure and how things work so it’s not just the aesthetic argument which it never is for me when you look at this you may notice emphasis on the
form above. its emphasized by cantilever at the front it’s pushed and to mark the
entry and extends out above at the back it’s pushed in to add some square
footage this backyard space which is very limited but the form above is also
emphasized programmatically meaning the important functions are placed above
bedrooms living dining kitchen and what you can deal with being flooded
hopefully not is placed at the ground level and this is generally good
practice whereby the beach so the two-car garage is at the front here and
at the back there’s a guest quarters which will not always be in use. the main
entry is here on the second floor which may have sounded quite strange if I
didn’t have this prelude these are pseudo spanish steps which are
necessary for circulation but also possibly a space to inhabit
themselves. the second floor has a bedrooms and the third floor has a
living dining and kitchen because that’s where you really get the view of the
water and that’s a common strategy that’s used
here. I’m trying to have a part of our relationship in which all the parts are
similar related yet different. i think that’s one of the things that makes
certain bodies of work contemporary architecturally, and not
you know modern or postmodern the view of the water is from this elevation to
the southwest why is that important? because typically
when you’re building in la you don’t want too much glass on the south or the
west, but that’s where the view is so you have to have it so how do I deal with
this? the same way anybody knows what they’re doing deals with it cantilever above the glass. that way the
winter Sun when it’s lower and you wouldn’t mind it coming in, comes right in. the
summer sun is higher and gets blocked out by the cantilever doesn’t come directly
into the glass, because that’s the sun that’s going to give you that heat
intake and the glare. in some parts of the world you would like the sun coming
directly in but not here here you see this angled cut
at the third floor which is the trajectory of the view into the water
here at its maximum height is where you have the greatest view and it’s at the
exterior of the balcony to really optimize that. manhattan beach, unlike much of la, is
very human scale and very walkable and with this house i tried to address that
by having an articulate multiple parts at the ground level where people are
going to be walking by the sidewalk at human scale and even above its articulated
with these segments while most houses would consolidate into larger masses
above and this geometry makes its way onto the Interior breaking things down
into dimensions that are comfortable to the human body behind me is the site the previous
building is now demolished the city was really strict when it came
to design, construction documents, permitting they wanted to see the exact slope on
every square inch of the property for run off every single blacony drain
detail overflow details they required this green fence to be up before getting the
building permit before even talking about construction but it’s for
good reason the houses are so much closer to each other here than they are
in most of La most of LA where the process would have been a bit easier
because setbacks are shorter here but it feels right it feels better to the human
body it’s more walkable. but even with these stringent requirements it took me a bit
longer than it should have to get the plans approved. it took me almost a year in
plan check, but for eight of those months, and I regret none of this, was at the
office of one of my favorite architects had weekends off which were devoted to
this and nights but was there 9-8 average sometimes left a bit earlier
sometimes stayed much later into the night my own choosing to be fair to help
senior people meet their deadlines. got to work on large buildings, steel
structure, got the experience of a lifetime i had mentioned for them i had a house, didn’t mention i was a plan check going full on at it, I didn’t want them to think
it would interfere shortly after leaving got this thing
approved and think I got some pretty interesting results i’m trying to deal with geometry, trying to deal with
space to create space that’s pleasant to the human body, trying to deal with
ecologyies, trying to create forms that conserve energy that are
energy-efficient trying to have conscious ideas about human inhabitation
yet when I talk about these things people look at me like a crazy like
you’re supposed to deal with aesthetics and the way things look I’m sorry that’s
not what i’m interested in. it will have a certain aesthetic yes but as a byproduct
of these issues. and you may like the way it looks you may not like the way it looks, that’s
subjective. but usually in my experience when you learn about how it works why it is the way it is if it’s a piece
of architecture usually you will start to like the way it looks, or most people will,
because attached to a performative aspects if you enjoyed the video subscribe i’m
working on more content but it’s a slow process so who knows when it’ll be up
here. but I constantly update my Instagram so also follow me there at @arahovsepyan take care, peace

2 thoughts on “ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN PROCESS 01 // HK House

  1. Dope stuff! I have a house I just designed and seeing this vid inspired me to produce some of my own

  2. have you ever thought about putting the garage in the back rather than front and guest area in the front to focus less on the car but more the pedestrian?

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