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CDLT 1, 2

Los Angeles, CA

An improvisational residence, uniting idea and construction, a house as a constructed daily journal — conceptual fingerprints recorded its creation. 

Our interest in working at full scale in an improvisational manner led to the design for the CDLT 1,2 house. The direct experience of testing ideas by immediately building them enabled us to close the gap between conception and inhabitation. Sketches were used in lieu of working drawings and at the close of each day the contractor trained lights on areas needing resolution. Each component became the impetus for the next idea after evaluating the consequences of the previous decision. The additive process of building reflected our desire to unite idea and construction.


No eraser was used, literally or figuratively. The rule-based system provided structure for decisions that would be made over a five-year period, ensuring coherence. Our established hierarchy of materials was strictly enforced; the size and type of materials were determined by their functions. The rules also facilitated communication between architect and builder. Because the builder had degrees in literature and music composition, we were able to discuss, in the abstract, the rhythmic nature of ordering systems. These discussions created a frame of reference for his decisions and he often sought a visual equivalent for musical concepts and notation.


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