New Suburbanism

New Suburbanism by Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis (LTL Architects)

Project and text by Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis.

What if the popular desires fueling the contemporary suburban culture of mini-mansions and big box stores were creatively reconfigured? New sectional matings mitigate the redundant horizontal surfaces of suburban sprawl, while the hybridized spatial logic of house and store produce new efficiencies of land-use, infrastructure, and transportation. Suburban dwellings migrate to occupy the vast horizontal roofscape of the big boxes. The repetitive system of aisles in the megastore below establishes a linear designation of individual houses and yards above. Storage structures extrude through the inhabitable roof plane providing a container for the equipment and commodities of domestic life. Private pools double as skylights for the store below and interconnect as a continuous neighborhood lap pool.

The massive and over articulated roof is the icon of suburban mini-mansions, allowing cathedral spaces and residual storage. In New Suburbia, the dominate roof mass is conceived as a solid insulating mass, cocooning the private commodified bedrooms and suites. Punches into the mass produce necessary double-height spaces while stalactite-like masses drop from the underside to accommodate storage, fireplaces and staircases.

Suburban houses are defined by rooms conceived as commodity objects independent of an overriding spatial idea. In New Suburbia, these object rooms-formal living and dining rooms, master bedroom suites, media rooms, bathrooms-reclaim a spatial imperative, without relinquishing their commodity. Interiors of each can be decorated in any manner desired.

The residue of a modernist spatial sensibility, the major public spaces of the typical house-kitchen, foyer, breakfast, family-are treated as open plan. In New Suburbia, the form of the open plan is entirely determined by the location of the Commodity Rooms. This relationship allows for a multiple versions of the New Suburban house within the given system.