Heptagon House offers a geometric solution to a set of financial and regulatory challenges. Limited to the footprint of an existing 195 square foot foundation, the design takes advantage of the simple properties of plan rotation in order to expand the area of the upper floors while aligning the guest house toward an ocean view. The plan is chamfered at the base and roof to allow for a front door and larger windows, yielding four heptagonal facades and a series of canted planes that opportunistically turn the local gabled roof vernacular on its head. The project embraces its tight budget with a minimal palette of plywood surfaces and millwork, standard manufactured windows, and inexpensive white standing-seam metal roofing that wraps the entire structure in abstract linework. An inexpensive acrylic dome skylight is mounted on rails, allowing it to roll open and offer the urban camper a night under the stars.
SSC_A is an award-winning design and research platform launched by Steven Christensen, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP. Christensen is a registered architect and a member of the design faculty in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA where he teaches graduate architecture studios. Prior to joining UCLA in 2012, Christensen taught at the University of Michigan from 2008-2011. He received his Master in Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University in 2008, and he has been an invited critic at several institutions including Harvard, SCI-Arc, USC, Michigan, and Cambridge. Prior to establishing his independent practice, Christensen contributed to widely published and exhibited projects for firms including Preston Scott Cohen and CORE. His research and practice are guided by his backgrounds in architecture and psychology, with a current interest in polyvalence, or the potential for design to engage a diverse audience by operating on multiple intellectual and perceptual strata. His work has been published internationally, including recent issues of Azure, FRAME, D+A, Residential Architect, FORM, and a new book on contemporary installation practice worldwide. His work has been selected for inclusion in several exhibitions, most recently in the 2014 and 2015 Emerging Professionals Exhibitions at the national headquarters of the American Institute of Architects in Washington DC, 2014 and 2015 exhibitions at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum, and as a Special Exhibit in the 2015 LA Art Show.