Ostrove Residence

Valley Village

The concept for the addition and renovations to the house were derived from the Owner’s request that the renovated home have a greater connection to its backyard. The idea that the architectural intervention would function as a joint, that which established a specific connection between two parts, or in this case, conditions, was investigated.

The mechanics of human joints and their constituent parts (bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles) were examined and the resultant concepts of wrapping and insertion were identified.

The drawings of the human forearm illustrate how muscles wrap around bone to enable subtle but complex movements such as twisting. The architectural translation of this idea is a series of continuous planes that wrap around and through the existing dwelling to define new spaces and refine existing ones. The result is a cohesive plan that engages the tectonics of the existing home without resorting to mere imitation or the creation of difference for its own sake.

The microscopic diagrams that illustrate the attachment of ligament to bone reveal a complex, multi-layered structure. The connection is a transitional zone; one where the line between two biologic structures is indistinct. This phenomenon also informed the development of the design proposal. In this case, connecting interior and exterior involved creating spatial transitions between the two conditions. On the new second floor, the interior envelope of the master bedroom stops short of its roof, which continues on to enclose a balcony. This balcony overhangs the existing first floor below, creating a subtle shift from inside to outside.

On the front of the house, a wrapping plane is inserted to make usable space out of an existing front porch. This plane also serves as a false roof over the living room, which will mitigate overheating in the summer months.

In addition to this conceptual rigor, the floor plan for the addition/ renovation is highly functional. The new bathroom is located above the existing first floor bath, which has been left in place. The stairs that connect the first and second floors are positioned where the existing master bedroom closet is located. This, when combined with the location of the laundry closet and repositioned bedroom closet, make full use of the existing intermediate space between the existing family room and existing master bedroom.