This undulating, gently rotating capsule fits right in the LA futuristic architecture canon. Devised in response to the site-specific “Hollywood” design competition put out by architectural research group Arch Out Loud, the proposed structure answers the call to “demonstrate the use of innovative technology, integrative environmental strategies, and capitalize on the iconic prominence of its site beneath the famed Hollywood sign”.
The contest came about when the owner of the land, Steve Alper, recognized the potential of the location as a space for new iconography; indeed the architecture along Mulholland drive is very much defined by 20th century architectural thought, and what better place to set a beacon of the future than beneath the letters spelling out the word that came to stand for the world of dream and fiction.
The winning proposal was put forth by LA based firm Hirsuta, that “privileges the role of matter in design process” and focuses on the sensory experience of space ie how the space feels rather than what it is. The design, while tackling sustainability and addressing the senses of inhabitants – the house would be powered by solar panels and the ( very slow) rotation would provide a different view each season, also takes the idea of a smart home to a new level: with a photovoltaic “breathing” skin that responds to the environment and movement synched with the motion of earth, it’s almost a creature in it’s own right, with something approaching an agenda that seeks to harmonize the environment and the human.
Whether we are ready for such radical redefinition of residential housing remains to be seen, but “The Ambivalent House” is certainly a curious foray into a technological utopia. Imagining seeing this home in the MLS database made us smile.