My recent posts at World-Architects


Monday, February 09, 2009

Two Projects by Leven Betts Studio Architects

Text and images are courtesy Leven Betts Studio Architects; photographs are by Michael Moran.

CC01 House
The design of the CC01 House begins with a reading of the landscape. Long linear grooves, formed by the dimensions of machinery, the distance between tractor wheels, and the frequency of the blades of a plow, are etched into the rolling hills from years of farming. These lines that hug the topography were developed into diagrams that inform the design of all configurations of the house, from the primary organization and form to the cladding and details of the building.

Additionally, the section of the house follows the contour of the land as it steps up from east to west in the long outdoor terrace and again between the dining and living spaces of the house. In this way, the house follows the landscape and topography both in plan and in section. Several other elements follow the linear crop diagram, such as the horizontally oriented corrugated-metal siding; patio paving patterns; plantings around the house; the punched windows on the long elevations and adjacent horizontal streaks of flat panels; and the attenuated retaining walls, which are extensions of the long walls of the foundation.

Filter Park Parking Garage
Chicago Filter Park is one of the first-place winners of the 2003 Chicago Prize Competition (see the other winner here) for a thousand-car parking facility. Our proposal begins with three basic strategies: to reconsider the parking facility as part of a larger system of urban infrastructure; to challenge preconceptions of how a parking structure functions, both technologically and environmentally; and to change the way parking lots look.

The site of the competition is an existing empty lot adjacent to the Kennedy Expressway. Located on the northern edge of this site, the parking facility is composed of two thin linear structures of automated parking; between them runs a bridge and hanging tree garden, where pedestrians and cyclists can cross the Kennedy. In this way, the new structure is part of the larger system of transportation infrastructure, which includes not just cars, parking, and buses, but also bikes and pedestrians. During the day, light passes through the glass facades, mingling with the shadows of the parked cars and hanging trees. In the evening, the structure is a glowing sign of mechanically moving cars, illuminated tree plantings, and a roof-garden cafe.

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