This small house is both figuratively and literally designed around a carry-on bag.
Our client, a young single commercial airline pilot, had just acquired a steep but spectacular mountain lot, and he approached us with an attractively specific challenge. Small dwellings have rarely required circulation studies (since the early days of Modernism at least), but this client wanted to ensure the most efficient path possible for his carry-on bag, from trunk to closet to laundry room (locating a washer and dryer in the closet was strictly verboten). With our thoughts turned toward Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky's Frankfurt Kitchen (but with our path of travel biased sectionally rather than in plan), we used this simple diagram to organize the entirety of the house, yielding a pinwheel layout with a dumbwaiter at its hub.
Although the client's limited budget kept forms simple, spans short, and square footage to a minimum, he nonetheless envisioned this house as a venue for frequent entertaining (and already had precise inviolable measurements in mind for the home theatre before our first meeting). Whereas the house's organizing "Golden Triangle" is centered around efficient transit to and from work, we sought an opportunity for the dumbwaiter to do double-duty, organizing a "Golden Triangle" of leisure wherein food and drinks to travel from garage to kitchen to downtairs party pad.
Outside, the home's four huddled pavilions remind some viewers of the conglomerate outcroppings native to this canyon. Carry-On House, itself a conglomerate form, offers a subtle reference to the varied hues of the stones that make up these outcroppings through its skin of simple aluminum shingles, in which a small number of custom medium and dark anodized parts perform an act of attenuated camouflage to the huddle's otherwise crisp forms.
PROJECT: Carry-On House
LOCATION: Salt Lake City, UT
TEAM: Steven Christensen, Devon Montminy, Chris Doerr
PHOTOGRAPHY: Steven Christensen