La Jolla, CA
Mexico City, Mexico
Description by Javier Sanchez for Arquine
Sebastian Mariscal Studio projects in San Diego and La Jolla use pure masses, assembled with materials that reveal the construction process. It is in this articulation where they strongly connect to each other and to the exterior, as in the “case study houses” or particularly in Schindler’s Kings Road House in West Hollywood. An advantage of these projects is that the designer, in near complete control, also constructs and develops, looking for opportunities for the architecture in lots for sale in the real estate market.
The use of assembled masses, mentioned earlier, is evident in Casas Fay (2inns). These masses, made of wood, concrete or glass, are always consistent with the materials and construction process. Therefore, the wooden box floats on a steel structure and the concrete base connects to the ground, maintaining the consistency between the perception of the specific weight of the materials, and the construction process. The resulting architecture is very precise, using labor only for on-site construction, as if assembling the elements of a Meccano set. At the planning level, the base establishes the more public area of the project with the home office, the glass area contains the family and social space and the bedrooms are protected in an ipe wood clad “jewelry box.”
The design process I am describing acquires an inclusive sense in section, where it contrasts the material relations of program and terrain. It is here where abstraction becomes part of a specific space, favoring a strong relationship with the site. The main objective is to establish a zero level, constructing the base that starts at street level and balances out the irregularities of the terrain. The horizontal relationship of this level, part natural terrain and part construction, is strengthened by the carved wooden mass that floats in the middle of the lot in the living area, creating a viewing deck facing the endless sea. The architectonic boundaries of this level automatically vanish, allowing a flow of air and a seamless connection between interior and exterior. The base level, accessible from the street, is flooded with light coming from an English patio below the upper horizontal plane. Carved in wood, the bedroom area is seen from the street as a mass, cut out at specific points of the main bedroom terrace, connecting the secondary bedrooms with the well-tended outside views. From the street, one perceives the dynamic perspective of the two wooden volumes floating over the large open living area, announcing the home?s location on the hill overlooking the sea in La Jolla.
Photos by Hisao Suzuki.