Location: Echo Park, Los Angeles 
Type: Single Family
Design Team: Katy Barkan, Hannah Hortick, Laura Grombone
Date: 2023/24

Rough House extends research into form, type, and material by working to confound the singular reading of the “house” through converging and diverging readings of the exterior. Translating and retranslating the appearance of the one and the many with increasing coarseness, the house seeks to tease out the nuances of the relationship between old and new, between addition and renovation.  

The house expands a typical two-bedroom bungalow on a steep and narrow hillside lot in Echo Park with a three-story addition comprising: an ADU, an extended living floor, and a private family room and primary suite above. In an effort to maintain the open terracing logic of the exterior, the new dense mass has to break open to allow a continued connection with the site and views. To this end a rigid and regulated L shaped stair works to both stich floors together while simultaneously prying them apart to produce charged programmatic overlaps and double height spaces on the interior. On the exterior, the broken massing at times coheres into a singular form and at times splits to produce a more frayed reading. 

A single gabled roof is insufficient in containing the parts within, instead moments of coincidence cohere certain taught and coordinated elevational moments, while allowing others to take advantage of a more ad hoc spatial organization. In this way the project tries to manage both order and disorder within a spatial language that can span opposing formal impulses. 

Working within the Los Angeles residential material palate, the design sets up a range of rough and smooth resolutions—and their respective connotations— to unravel and explore the seams between the high and the low, the found and the new, the abject and the rarified, the ubiquitous and the bespoke, to interrogate the aesthetic postures of these forms and materials.