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Box Trellis

Single Family Dwelling

Westwood, CA

This project attempts to redefine the conventional covered exterior space or “patio” ubiquitously found on suburban homes.  A trellis or arbor or patio roof cover would typically extend out from a primary living space and allow for the concurrent occupancy of spaces across openings and bridge the transition from interior to exterior.  This is especially useful in the mild climate and endless sunny days of Southern California and facilitates activities in the landscapes, open spaces and yards.  Our project is organized along a two-story bar parallel to the long dimension of the property with an attached garage at the front to define a rear courtyard.  A second floor deck is carved out near the middle of the bar to increase light and ventilation in the bedrooms.  From this deck, a steel frame structure with neither a ceiling nor a floor is extended over the center of the courtyard creating a box trellis that provides shade like an oversized brise soleil.  The spatial volume immediately defines a unique volume connecting the courtyard below to second floor deck above.  By extruding a traditional trellis vertically, we provide an armature to support alternative programs and functionality further pushing the boundaries of domestic occupation and use. While it can be finished and programmed a variety of ways, it is adaptable to a myriad of possibilities.   In our imagining of  a potential scenario, the box trellis is wrapped in shade cloth and a tree is planted in the middle.   The tree will change the perception and feel of the trellis volume as it matures and reinforces the physical connection between the lower and upper decks. Furnishings and hammocks or swings can be hung from the trellis for seating and lounging and fun!  Cargo netting is stretched across the entire lower portion of the box trellis like a hammock and the occasional stage dive. Beyond the alternately fun potential described above, it is possible that the trellis structure could be refinished for other capacities like solar panels or greenery like vines.  As such, it is anticipated that the box trellis would not necessarily remain static.  While we have shown one possible iteration of the box trellis, it is anticipated that the appearance and utility will evolve and grow along with its owners and their needs and desires.  

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