Monday, November 30, 2009

harlan residence


Composite drawing showing site plan, floor plan, exterior elevations, and building section (GA Houses, March 1994, n. 41, p. 122)

Designed in 1993 for client Willard Harlan, this Salt Lake City residence was designed by architect Taeg Nishimoto, with Leonard Camposano and Wendi Shafran as assistants. The home was subsequently published in the prestigious GA Houses magazine the following year.

In an email response to my query for information on the project, the architect, Taeg Nishimoto stated, "The project was a completely hypothetical one and it was never built. The client, a friend of mine, wanted to have something he could dream of at the time, so the context (site) was also an imagined one. We worked on his description of what the place might be. He passed away since then." Taeg is currently a Professor and Associate Dean at The University of Texas at San Antonio.


Drawing of hallway perspective (GA Houses, March 1994, n. 41, p. 123)

“The site is situated at the edge of a gently sloping plain with some trees, which, due to the occasional strong winds of the region, are shaped quite picturesquely. The house was conceived as a protective shelter constructed from a concrete slab which completely opens to the landscape on one side and provides a more intense, independent spatial experience on the other side. It also utilizes the roof as a continuous surface between the two levels of the earth of these two sides to be walked on as well as giving a strong presence to the house in the open landscape. The spatial articulation involves a rather complex geometry which is intended to create the spatial autonomy of the interior of the house against the surrounding natural components such as the sky and the configuration of the ground surface, as well as to enhance the abstract quality of the concrete surface which envelopes it. The geometric arrangement is conceived in order to create the perception of continuity throughout the space-defining surfaces, both visibly and invisibly. The continuously undulating surfaces of the concrete and the other interacting components made of various materials, such as wood paneling and metal sheets, are intended to create the abstract and yet highly textural continuity of the space. It is most evident in the circulation space through the house along the closed side with different sources of natural light where the client's drawings would be displayed." (GA Houses, March 1994, n. 41, p. 121)


Model of house and site (GA Houses, March 1994, n. 41, p. 121)

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