Modern translations, contemporary methods: DL-1-Resonance house® Conference Paper uri icon


  • As the first design-build-fabricate-assemble experiment at our school, the intent of the studio was to design aframework from which to examine a "lived space" through digital-to-digital processes. Moving from digital models and physical stereo lithographic models to hand-fabrication and digital assembly allowed the students to move from creation to completion. As part of our holistic design process, the studio fabricated almost all components for the project. These elements include the wood flooring, the copper and wood skins, the building'sstructural panels, and the two-story light vortex. This single-family, in-fill house is located within an historic downtown neighborhood and is subject to historic district zoning regulations, design guidelines, and Board of Architecture Review approvals. The project is analogous to design challenges presenting themselves in historic districts throughout the United States including the Savannah, Georgia site for the 2005 ACADIA Conference. The scale of the project relates well to the horizontal nature of this context and after a formal, televised review process with the local Board of Architecture Review, the project represents a dynamic, yet sympathetic architectural dialogue with the surrounding buildings. The project develops simultaneously from the exterior and interior resulting in two courtyards that mediate the urban "front door" and the private "terrace." The students designed these areas through a series of twodimensional axonometric drawings, three-dimensional physical and digital models, and four-dimensional time-based animations. The building massing separates into two core elements: gabled copper volume and wood screen volume. These elements maintain their conceptual purity by using the same types of modulations on their skins. The copper form with its deep-cut reveals and proportionally placed light scoring patterns reflects the horizontal datum lines of the floor, sill, threshold, and ceiling. In contrast, the wood volume reflects these same lines as applied "shadow screens" which create depths that seamlessly tie together the side, rear, and front facades. The hinge point of the house is the light vortex. Designed in Rhino, translated in Catia, fabricated out of aluminum, and clad in stainless steel, this two-story sculptural element will literally wrap light around its surfaces. Like a sunflower, the light vortex, with its angel hair stainless steel finish, responds to the incremental differentiation of light throughout the day. Photosensitive floor-mounted lights designed to augment the volume of natural light will provide a continuous light rendition on the sculpture. The project, scheduled for completion at the end of the 2005 summer session, is at the time of this submission about 60% complete.

published proceedings

  • ACADIA 2005 Conference: Smart Architecture

author list (cited authors)

  • Luhan, G. A

complete list of authors

  • Luhan, GA

publication date

  • December 2005