East Amazon Studio 1
The house and workshop are situated adjacent to Amazon Creek in Eugene, Oregon on a deep, flat suburban lot measuring 70 x 173 ft. The project is comprised of three primary boxes arranged on the site. The first two boxes, closest to the street, serve as the living and the free areas of the house. The first and widest box is divided asymmetrically by a row of columns that break the span and separate a series of bedrooms and bathrooms from the other areas which are loosely given over to cooking, socializing, and working. A concrete slab on grade foundation steps up with the land at the second box and subtly lends a more intimate atmosphere to the middle area of the house which was left free of any formal program. At the rear of the lot a third box is used as a workshop. A higher, 12 ft ceiling is used for the movement of materials and equipment.
The arrangement of the three boxes fills the site and defines a series of outdoor spaces— an area for parking and unloading, a private courtyard, and an outdoor workspace connected to the workshop. Overlaps between the primary volumes were established to maintain continuity without loosing the autonomy and privacy between the parts. This, coupled with the plan arrangement and the changes in ceiling heights, allowed us to propose a range of proportions (and potentials) within a regular array.
In order to exceed the basic requirements of the brief, a regular post and beam structure was developed to achieve a maximum impact within the modest budget. To that end, it was important that the project could be quickly constructed with only two workers, who could tilt up the framework without heavy equipment. Car decking was proposed for the roof deck, as opposed to cross laminated timber, and the spacing between the beams was set at 4 ft. The posts and beams are at times oversized to allow for consistent dimensions throughout. These structural cross sections were minimized due to the tighter than typical spacing of the structural grid. Using a small number of design decisions a spatial variety was achieved that did not undercut the raw potential of a generic and highly legible framework.
Location: Eugene, Ore.
Program: house and workshop
Area: 4,000 sq ft