Venice Triplex

Client: Client not discolsed

Program: Triplex Housing

Size: 7,500 SqFt (2,500 SqFt Units)

Completion Date: 2020

Material: Ceramic, steel, glass

Architect: Baumgartner + Uriu, llp

Team: Garrett Sutherlin Santo, Nourah AlBanaw, Bashayer Bamohsen, Takin Daneshmir, Corina Dow, Katie Hayes, Mitsuki Ikeda, Aditya Jagdale, Erin Light, Di Liang

Venice Triplex
Venice Triplex is a housing triplex developed in response to the accelerating threat climate change poses to California’s communities. Each year, the frequency and severity of wildfires increase, moving destruction further inward on our cities. Now, in the midst of a pandemic that keeps thousands of families locked-down in these vulnerable communities, it’s imperative that our homes be better designed to help protect us.

Made with a skin of sustainable fire-resilient ceramics, the triplex units function as protective cocoons built to survive the intense blaze of wildfire for days at a time.

Compact and spherical, the housing units are shaped to deflect heat upwards, away from their spacious interiors. Generous openings let in natural light and large landscaped balconies help families stay connected to the outdoors during normal use. In the event a fire, ceramic shutters seal off these openings, protecting the property and inhabitants from destruction. Inside, the design of this multigenerational four-story triplex provides plenty of spaces for living, working, and leisure; accounting for the new realities of remote working, distance learning, and limited travel.

Besides its fire resilient quality, we developed and prototyped 3d ceramic components that are robotically milled and glazed. Assembled they behave much like scales of an animal, similar yet unique in shape and able to adjust to any underlaying form. The tactile and color patterns are generated from synthetic landscape images produced by a neuro network. These images are transcribed into robotic tool paths and glaze colors both applied to the ceramic components. The result a vibrant, highly tactile out of this world envelope that reminds one of the surfaces of distant planets.

Venice Triplex represents a new generation of architecture built with respect for nature and the needs of families for a resilient future.