Vault House - 私人住宅 | The Plan
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Vault House - 私人住宅

Johnston MarkLee

Vault House - 私人住宅
By Raymund Ryan -

The Modernist All-White House. The relaxed Beach House. The House on Stilts. The Shotgun House in America’s Deep South. The Arabic Courtyard House. These and other archetypes are filtered through the eyes and brains of Johnston Marklee Architects in the design of Vault House right on the beach in Oxnard, north of Los Angeles. The Vault House: another archetype. Closely associated with the historic vernacular of several Mediterranean countries, the vault was reinterpreted for residential architecture by key modernists including Le Corbusier, Antoni Bonet and Josep Lluis Sert.

In Oxnard the Vault House is unmistakably white. It fully occupies the permissible planning envelope of its site, a row slot perpendicular to the beach and a residential street. For a house on such a sought-after location, it is unusually opaque. The orthogonal volume is eroded by simple rectilinear incisions that terminate in half-circles. These “arches”, extending up from the floor slab and down from the parapet, and the radial sculpting of the principal mass create an unusual affect, introducing a softness into the orthogonal block, indicating graphic stylishness and curved interior space. There are glimpses of sky and of light-filled innards.

Vault House is a complex extrusion extending from street to beach between comparatively mute parallel flanks. This form is sliced sheer at both ends to reveal the interior section: two bedrooms above a spacious garage to the street, a splendid double-height terrace to the ocean. On grade adjacent to the street, the house hovers above sand at it faces the Pacific. Resting on piles drilled deep into the ground, it doesn’t pretend to emerge as a natural extrusion - indeed there is a substantial undercroft open on three sides. Along either long flank, the incisions seem to play with preconceptions of gravity and solid form. Which way is up?

As with other residential projects by Johnston Marklee -...

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