Jimenez Lai of Bureau Spectacular shared his residential project for a warehouse loft. The 1400 sf space is conceived as a house within a house where all the material possessions are compacted into one oversized briefcase, which the subject sleeps inside. The project focuses on engaging two architectural issues: the inside/outside and S/XL. More information, including Lai’s illustrated storyboards after the break.
The super wall-cavity, rendered as an ultra thick wall, fits between the residual gap outside of the Briefcase House and the limits of the warehouse loft. This thickened wall provides the opportunity for the subject to occupies the cavity for other activities. “This project delineates the qualification of conceptual poche by the swerve of the architectural figure-ground and the blackening of thick-wall or the private volume. Furthermore, it blurs the boundary between the definition of XL furniture and S building,” explained Lai.
The house takes inspiration from Mies van der Rohe’s core in the Farnsworth House, as it was the key in producing the four architectural programs without erecting one single wall. Likewise, “the presence of the Briefcase House inside this warehouse also carves out distinct dimensions for appropriate activities. Sitting on castors, the house can be rolled around to distort program proportions.” Lai was also inspired by the paintings of Fontana and Motherwell as they heighten the awareness of negative spaces.
“As an obstruction, the Briefcase House is a permanent cut on the canvas that gives birth to a new healthy body,” added Lai. Below are Lai’s illustrated storyboards, entitled The Obsession Accelerator.
Briefcase House (2010) Chicago, IL Design: Jimenez Lai Story / Illustration: Jimenez Lai Construction Drawings: Brady Schneider, Cyrus Penarroyo Construction Leaders: David Ruffing, Brady Schneider, Jimenez Lai Thank you to the assistance of Jonathan MacGillis, Lauren Turner, Jasper Reyes and Connie Lin Photography: Jasper Reyes and Kamil Kroll