Los Angeles– and New York City–based FreelandBuck have completed construction on Stack House, a distinctive, ground-up, single-family home made up of shifting, room-sized boxes that tumble up a steep mountainside site. The 2,207-square-foot home is located in L.A.’s bustling Mt. Washington neighborhood and comes with ground-floor parking and a one-bedroom Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) on the second level. The ADU has its own distinctive entry and can either be rented out to help pay the mortgage or used as a home office, according to the architects. The secondary unit's entry is marked by patterned cladding modeled after board-and-batten siding and comes with a modest terrace and storage shed, as well. The arrangement—attached and embedded with the bulk of the building—differs from typical ADU configurations in the city, which tend to separate the unit from the main home or locate it within converted garages. Instead, here the ADU is a stop on the way toward the main home, which is accessed from a front stair that flanks the unit’s large glass entry. The third floor is divided into five discrete areas, starting with a deep dining terrace that extends a modest entry room outside the house. Inside, the home features formal dining, living, and kitchen spaces tucked into each corner. The discrete rooms are an attempt, according to David Freeland, founding principal at FreelandBuck, to fight against the ubiquitous nature of great-rooms and open plans in contemporary speculative housing. A bonus of the rounded internal divisions that carve up the main floor rooms is that they provide spaces in which to conceal ventilation chases and a powder room while also bringing soft, diffuse light deep into the home. The central stair runs up to a backyard dining patio that opens onto a scrubby hillside. The home’s stairs continue to the fourth level, where three bedrooms and two bathrooms find themselves oriented toward adjacent downslope vistas. On this floor, the master bedroom and master bathroom occupy the front of the house and pucker toward each other to create another window wall-backed terrace that points toward the San Gabriel Mountains to the north. Stack House was developed jointly by the architects and local developer Urbanite Homes in an effort to flex the limits of speculative housing design in Los Angeles away from bloated HGTV-style offerings and back toward unique living configurations and economical formal exuberance. The arrangement gives the designers the flexibility of taking creative freedom with the design of the home while helping to feed a growing market for architect-driven designs in the area. The home is currently for sale and will be joined by a second design by FreelandBuck next-door in a few years.
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From now until September 3, the MoMA will be exhibiting Dream The Combine’s winning scheme for this year’s Young Architects Program (YAP), as well as the other four finalists’ work. Hide & Seek opens to the public at MoMA PS1 on June 28, but until then, the MoMA exhibition provides a sneak peek that should tide over visitors. Hide & Seek Design: Jennifer Newsom and Tom Carruthers of Dream The Combine in collaboration with Clayton Binkley of ARUP Structural Engineering: Clayton Binkley and Kristen Strobel, ARUP Project Team: Max Ouellette-Howitz, Nero He, Tom Vogel, Emmy Tong, and Erik Grinde, with support from UMN School of Architecture Dream The Combine is the 19th YAP winner. The firm's scheme will create a series of dynamic pavilions across PS1’s courtyard and up the steps to the museum. Nine overlapping black steel catwalks will stretch across the open area, including inaccessible platforms hovering overhead. Three of the paths will hold giant, moveable mirrors that can “turn an individual into a crowd” or unify separate elements of the installation. Fabric sails will be floated overhead at certain points and fitted with misters to create an ethereal and spacey feeling at night. Hide & Seek is, according to Jennifer Newsom, an attempt to create an ever-changing experience in PS1’s courtyard by building new visual connections throughout the space and beyond. Shelf Life Design: LECAVALIER R+D, Jesse LeCavalier Project team: Ayesha Ghosh, Jesse McCormick, Zachary White Structural engineering support: LED - Laufs Engineering Design, New York City & Berlin What exactly is “logistics”? How can we better connect and explore the invisible machinery that drives modern global commerce? For Shelf Life, LECAVALIER R+D re-appropriates the stacking and racking machinery usually found in factories and turns it into an immersive exhibition structure. In their proposal, furniture is built straight into the massive frame, and the entire pavilion would be disassembled and integrated back into the global logistics stream at the end of summer. Out of the Picture Project Team: FreelandBuck, Alex Kim, Taka Tachibe, Belinda Lee, Braden Young, Adin Rimland, Michael Raymundo, Adrian Lanetti, Evan Preuss, Jose Avila Structural Engineering by Matthew Melnyk of Nous Engineering Out of the Picture sought, much like Hide and Seek, to “bring the outside in” to PS1’s courtyard. Enormous fabric banners are stretched across the central plaza and decorated with distorted images of the surrounding buildings. The result is a reinterpretation of the neighborhood from a new perspective, transformed but still readable. Loud Lines Design: BairBalliet Structural Consultants: Walter P Moore, Kais Al-Rawi, Quinton Champer Project Team: Chaoqun Chen, Jose Garcia, Andrew Lang, Spencer McNeil, Ruta Misiunas Lines and vectors are often abstract concepts on a screen in architecture, but BairBalliet sought to translate the often-striking lines in diagrams into tangible structures. During the day, Loud Lines is solid black and imposing, but at night, the structure pulses with neon light from within. The rods emit a cooling mist to further blur the lines between the real and the immaterial. The Beastie Design: OFICINAA: Silvia Benedito and Alexander Häusler. Cambridge, MA, and Ingolstadt, Germany The Beastie proposed a technologically forward-thinking assemblage in PS1’s courtyard; an interactive structure that would have turned solar energy into ice. Inside the multi-walled chambers of The Beastie, visitors would explore a range of different temperatures, ranging from pleasant to freezing. More than a cool-down station, The Beastie was intended to raise awareness of climate change by exposing guests to “climatic confusion”. All of the YAP finalists were required to design an outdoor shelter that included shade, water, and seating. After the proposals are finished showing at the MoMA, the installation will travel to MAXXI (Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo) in Rome, and CONSTRUCTO in Santiago.
Los Angeles- and New York City-based FreelandBuck has come together with MINI LIVING to create a visually complex temporary installation for the Los Angeles Design Festival. The eye-catching pavilion was on display over the weekend at the showcase’s headquarters at The Row arts complex in Downtown Los Angeles. For the installation, FreelandBuck hijacked a pair of compact living modules previously designed by the MINI LIVING team in order to create an inhabitable public space for use during the festivities. The new “experience” space is sandwiched between the spare “urban cabin” accommodations and was designed by FreelandBuck in order to “extend the perceptual boundaries and the contemplative life of a living space through spatial effects and experimental material assemblies,” according to a press release for the project. In plan, FreelandBuck’s designs are contained within a pair of redundant aluminum stud-framed spaces where one of the two boxes has been rotated in space in order to project beyond the extents of the otherwise rectangular cabin. The second cube is rotated in the opposite direction and created an angled exit within the main volume. The doubled walls mark the entries to the cabin on the outside and frame a doorway within, leaving odd, oblique wedges of space at the meeting points of the two rotated volumes. The two nested boxes are skinned in translucent polycarbonate panels that have been printed with images depicting a third framed volume that is drawn to appear as if it has been projected through the structure. The graphic produces a disorienting, layered effect through the spaces, with different views of the red and blue cube projected across the interlocking areas. The space is flanked on either side by the MINI LIVING-designed components, which include a living space framed by pivoting pegboard-and mesh-wrapped wall panels and a bedroom area that features a skylight above the sleeping area. The installation represents the eighth iteration of the pavilion by MINI LIVING and the first scheme that is designed to hold overnight guests. For more information, see the MINI LIVING website.
FreelandBuck has stamped its presence on the burgeoning Miami Design District with the creation of a circulation core and terraces for the District’s newest addition, Paradise Plaza. Over the past decade, the 18-block development has established itself as a high-density, pedestrian-oriented cultural neighborhood with an emphasis on design-led development. The circulatory role of FreelandBuck’s design facilitates movement both vertically and horizontally, from subterranean parking upward and across the second-level retail terrace. The quasi-courtyard is supported by a series of wedge-shaped columns that divide the structure’s two dining terraces into a sequence of smaller gathering spaces. The angularity of the columns is accentuated by the use of triangular planes influenced by the work of visual artist Yaacov Agam. A diverse range of materials is found in the circulatory core, which includes stainless steel, Carrara marble tiles, and sprawling aluminum panels. Although the firm didn’t collaborate much with the architects of the surrounding buildings, FreelandBuck’s addition carries its individual identity while connecting to the greater assemblage of the Miami Design District. Paradise Plaza 151 NE 41st Street Miami Tel: 305-722-7100 Architect: FreelandBuck
With their recent designs for the Los Angeles offices of international media company Hungry Man Productions, architects FreelandBuck explored the decorative potential of the average office cubicle with whimsy and explosive exuberance. The New York City– and Los Angeles–based architects renovated the interior of an existing 8,000-square-foot warehouse structure in L.A., upending the traditional office layout and utilizing abstracted decorative molding profiles as cladding for cubicle walls. The effort was fueled by an adventurous client that wanted a “dynamic and lighthearted working environment.” That desire resulted in a quizzical collection of stacked cubicles—each one turned askew—organized around a collection of shared open spaces. David Freeland, principal at FreelandBuck, explained that the firm set out to deconstruct the prototypical office and to “engage office culture in a way that makes it not mundane or rudimentary.” In plan, it looks rather chaotic, a byproduct of the firm’s playful massing approach that conceals a finely tuned organizational scheme designed to facilitate the musical chairs–style teamwork approach Hungry Man promotes. The offices are used for everything from client meetings to production projects and even casting calls and photo shoots, circumstances that require the spaces to function as a casual backdrop and formal business environment all at once. As a response, the plan is broken up into several zones: a clustered private office pod near the entrance, a dining and meeting core in a far corner, and an open-office work area in another, capped by a mezzanine filled with more private offices. After every few steps, the shifting and patterned cubicles create an entirely new and different view, framing recognizable, but ambiguous, glimpses of other office areas. The cubicles stack in certain places to create thresholds, resulting in casual indoor rooms lit by soft skylights above. They are also meant to be decorative and act as display cases for Hungry Man’s extensive collection of legacy props. The cubicles are wrapped in MDF cladding produced by a line-based CNC mill and fabricated locally to create a “fantastically inexpensive” finishing material that, for the architects, approximates the “roundness and supple depth” of a line drawing. “We wanted to make a playful connection to the office cube as a fundamental unit of typical office space,” Freeland explained. “Part of breaking loose from the conventional associations of ‘office cubicle’ was to use it for different purposes and organize it in different ways.”
The finalists for the 2018 Young Architects Program (YAP) have been announced by the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1. Each year, 30 young practices are nominated by deans of architecture schools and editors of architecture publications for a chance to compete to build a temporary outdoor installation in the courtyard of MoMA PS1. After a portfolio review, the initial group of 30 is culled down to five firms, who are asked to submit initial proposals for the project. This year’s finalists are LeCavalier R+D, FreelandBuck, OFICINAA, BairBalliet, and Jennifer Newsom & Tom Carruthers. The 2017 winner of YAP was Jenny E. Sabin with her project Lumen, which employed a web-like woven canopy made of photo-luminescent and solar-active yarns that collected and emitted light. Learn more about each of the 2018 finalists below. BairBalliet BairBalliet is a collaborative effort between Chicago-based Kelly Bair and Los Angeles-based Kristy Balliet. BairBalliet’s work was presented as part of the US Pavilion for the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennial. Along with co-founding BairBalliet, Kelly Bair is the principal of Central Standard Office of Design and is an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Architecture. Kristy Balliet, principal of Balliet Studio, is currently faculty at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and an associate professor at The Ohio State University’s Knowlton School of Architecture. Through both speculative and built work, the team explores precedent and form in two and three dimensions. FreelandBuck The bi-coastal FreelandBuck is led by David Freeland and Brennan Buck. Freeland is currently a faculty member at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), and Buck is a faculty member at the Yale School of Architecture. FreelandBuck’s work ranges from residential and commercial through urban and institutional projects, with an emphasis on complex digitally-fabricated geometries. Jennifer Newsom & Tom Carruthers Jennifer Newsom and Tom Carruthers make up the Minneapolis-based art and architecture practice DREAM THE COMBINE. As installation artists and licensed architects, the team has produced numerous site-specific installations in the United States and Canada. Each project explores concepts of reality, perception, material, and often social and cultural constructs, such as race and metaphor. LeCavalier R+D New Jersey-based LeCavalier R+D is led by Jesse LeCavalier. Currently an assistant professor of architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, LeCavalier is the former Sanders Fellow at the University of Michigan, a Poiesis Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge at NYU, and a researcher at the Singapore-ETH Future Cities Laboratory. With a focus on contemporary spaces of logistics, LeCavalier is the author of The Rule of Logistics: Walmart and the Architecture of Fulfillment. OFICINAA Ingolstadt, Germany-based OFICINAA is a collaboration between Silvia Benedito and Alexander Häusler. With a wide range of work in different mediums and scales, OFICINAA draws on its principal’s diverse backgrounds to produce work that covers multiple facets of design. Benedito’s work often focuses on atmospheres and microclimate landscapes, while Häusler’s background is in sculpture and installation work. Together, they have produced everything from urban planning projects and architecture projects to installations and videos. The judging panel this year included: Glenn D. Lowry, Director of The Museum of Modern Art; Klaus Biesenbach, Director of MoMA PS1; Peter Reed, Senior Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs; Martino Stierli, The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design; Barry Bergdoll, Curator of Architecture and Design; Sean Anderson, Associate Curator of Architecture and Design; Jeannette Plaut and Marcelo Sarovic, Directors, CONSTRUCTO, from Santiago, Chile; and Pippo Ciorra, Senior Curator, MAXXI Architettura, of Rome, Italy. The winner will be announced in early 2018.
Joel Sanders Architect with LA-based FreelandBuck have been announced as the winners of an international competition to design the Kunshan Phoenix Cultural Mall, located about an hour west of Shanghai. The project will be the largest to date for both firms. The 262,000-square-foot proposal was designed for Phoenix Publishing and Media Group (PPMG), one of the largest media companies in China. The project consists of a 20-story office tower perched upon a five-story podium, organized around four glass-clad “cultural cores." Each core houses theaters, exhibition halls, a fitness club, and an educational center. A retail loop—compromised of stores, restaurants, and cafes—spirals around each core. The site's cores define the perimeter of a central outdoor atrium, dramatically united by an elevated "Book Mart," whose green roof doubles as both a podium for the office tower and cultural park for the general public. The project's intricate, louvered facade is an example of FreelandBuck's focus on computational patterns as a way to generate tectonic shifts in geometry and space. The construction timeframe for the undertaking has yet to be announced.
Inspired by Lebbeus Woods' "Slipstreaming" drawing series envisioning the dynamics of flow, New York- and LA-based FreelandBuck architects designed Slipstream, a colorful installation made of CNC-cut birch-veneer plywood currently on display at New York's Bridge Gallery through August 24. Now the sculpture could flow out of the Lower East Side gallery and into your home or apartment. Citing storage constraints, FreelandBuck has placed Slipstream on eBay and the installation—all 1,400 pieces of it—could be yours for cheap. The seemingly impossibly complex installation was modeled in Rhino after the firm studied various digital models of flow. FreelandBuck describes the project as "a single drawing extruded through the gallery space and cut away to produce a set of interconnected spaces." According to the architects' auction listing, "It will be taken down on Monday August 27th. We have no place to store or re-erect the project. If you do, it could be yours. Slipstream measures 9'-10"x 20'-10"x8'-3"tall and weighs approximately 250lb," making it about the size of a Manhattan micro-apartment. A smaller spiral piece of the installation (seen in the digital model below) is not included in the auction. While at press time there were only four bids topping out at $11.50, we're expecting a bidding war to break out in a few days as the auction draws to the end this weekend. You can pick up the stack of plywood pieces in Brooklyn, or take home assembled chunks to make reassembly a little easier (shipping is also available, estimated at around $1,200). The digital Rhino file is included with the installation showing how everything fits together, but who ever reads the instruction book? Photography by Kevin Kunstadt.
AIA/LA has just announced the winners of its second annual "Arch Is" competition, open to California designers who have graduated from architecture school in the past five to twelve years. The victors are two of our favorites: FreelandBuck, headed by David Freeland and Brennan Buck, and P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S, led by Georgina Huljich and Marcelo Spina. Both are on the cutting edge of digital fabrication and complex, layered (not to mention curvy) design. See some of their work, below. And stop drooling. And check out a public forum featuring the winners at LA's A+D Museum on March 24 a 7pm.