Course: UCLA A.UD Comprehensive Design Studio
Term: Winter 2016
Instructor: Neil Denari
Steel Cloud challenges the conventional shape of a house while taking advantage of steel as a material to achieve long spanning cantilevers.
The plan is composed of six circles which are symmetrical on two axis. One enters through the garage into a central gallery of Robert Irwin columns. Each circle contains program – kitchen, office, patio, bedroom, living, and garage. All exterior walls are transparent, and the most private spaces are contained in floating solid cells with transparent glass ceilings.
In section, the house is symmetrical on one axis, and its butterfly profile creates an extreme cantilever on the site. The building is supported by a large truss, while the roof is supported by an umbrella structure of six branching columns. The columns extend from the truss which gives them fixity. They are cut and welded to a 1” steel plate to allow for the perpendicular cantilevering beams to intersect the truss.
There are different levels of transparency in exposing the steel structure. While the truss is disguised by perforated metal panels, the columns and roof grid are completely exposed on the exterior. One standing inside may wonder how they are being supported, but have a complete understanding of how the roof is supported overhead.