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Photo: Physical model

HOUSE X
1975 (unbuilt)
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MICHIGAN

Most houses are conceptually vertebrate. That is, in addition The specific configurations of House X can be understood
to their literal, necessary condition of structure they are initially as the juxtaposition of four squares. This configuration
metaphorically vertebrate. They have a center, usually a is only an initial analogue, a heuristic device used to approach
hearth or a stair; their roofs pitch from the center, and their a more complex sign condition, which in itself is only a
construction exhibits a concern for an overall centrality. The possible approximation of the reality it signifies. In fact, the
center expresses both the functional core and conceptual final configuration is a cumulative attempt to dissolve its own
unity of the house. In House X, the center is nothing. seeming connection with any initial analogue. In other words,
the final plan is only a series of traces that refer, in a sense,
The vertebrate house is also mimetic; it mirrors man’s upright, forward to a more complex and incomplete structure rather
axial condition. In an attempt to produce a conceptual distance than backward to a unitary simple, and stable structure. It thus
between man and object, House X is nonvertebrate; to this becomes a kind of pre-distillation of amore complex “future”
extent, it is nonmimetic. There are no exposed linear elements condition.
– columns or beams. These are covered by solid vertical and
horizontal surfaces, and further, two of the major horizontal The 8,000-square-foot private residence was designed for a
living surfaces are void. This is a distortion of the Modern large, wooded, sloping site, adjacent to a country club and
Movement’s preferred section – two solid horizontal planes – surrounded by a swimming pool, tennis court and summer
as well as of the house’s traditional mimesis of anthropocentric house. The design used the slope in such a way that the
man, who stands on a solid horizontal surface and “dominates” natural landscape ran through the house, splitting it into four
the landscape. quadrants to reduce the scale.

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Study-sketch

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Axonometric model, North-East corner

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Site plan

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Plan View

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East Elevation

West Elevation

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Axonometric model

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Diagram of four els in a pinwhell Diagram of five els with central space seen Diagram of five els with the central space
configuration as two els of unequal legth contained within seen as two els of equal length but not
a perimeter contained within a perimeter

Diagram showing center els in condition Diagram showing the transposition of the el Axonometric drawing showing the cube as
of shear thus fragmenting the el (X) in the in the northwest quadrant, again producing an expansion of the el
northwest quadrant an ABCX reading due to position

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Axonometric drawing, Scheme H,
view from northeast

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Axonometric drawing showing four Axonometric drawing showing four els Axonometric drawing showing two els
els with their vertical corners at the with their vertical corners in the center inverted
periphery

Diagram showing two els inverted and dropped so Diagram showing this same condition in the context of
that they form a mid-point congruence about their the final form of the house
horizontal elements.

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Scheme F, First floor plan

Scheme F, Second floor plan

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Scheme F, Third floor plan

Scheme F, Roof plan

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Axonometric diagram showing the relationship of Axonometric diagram showing the relationship of Axonometric diagram showing the relationship of
all four interior elevations the northwest interior elevation to its quadrant the northeast interior elevation to its quadrant

Scheme F, section BB

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Axonometric diagram showing the relationship of Axonometric diagram showing the relationship of Axonometric diagram showing the relationship
the northwest interior elevation and the southwest the northwest interior elevation to the southwest of the notheast interior elevation to the
interior elevation interior elevation southwest interior elevation

Scheme F, section CC

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Scheme F, West interior elevation

Scheme F, North interior elevation

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Scheme F, East interior elevation

Scheme F, South interior elevation

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Model, Scheme G, view from northeast

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