SILVERLAKE PRO/con / SILVERLAKE / CALIFORNIA
CLIENT: Jean Young Jones
PROGRAM: Duplex residence; each unit with three small bedrooms, kitchen, media, library, and central living atrium
SIZE: 2,800 ft2
COMPLETION: August 2001
NOTES: This demonstration of the PRO/con housing system is the second scheme for this site, undertaken in response to the huge cost overruns in the first scheme. It arranges twelve twenty-foot ISO shipping containers into four three-story stacks to create two three-bedroom apartment units. Each of the units is organized around a triple-height space enclosed between the stacks, serving as the living room for the unit and, in the upper reaches, as the circulation area, transected by the stairs and catwalks that provide access to the containers. Per the PRO/con system, the containers house the dedicated program-specific functions of the apartment, such as kitchen, bath, and bedroom. Also per the PRO/con system, the living space is left largely undefined spatially, awaiting empowering definition by the activities of its inhabitants. The living spaces and containers are oriented in opposite directions, with glazing on one side only, so that the building enjoys two different exposures. No additional structure is required to enable the containers to span over the parking at the base; the containers are rigidly joined at the corner fittings with proprietary connectors to create a composite beam, capable of spanning even greater distances than required here.
This scheme remains unbuilt because the City of Los Angeles maintains an (unpublished) policy of refusing to allow the use of ISO shipping containers for building (despite the container’s cost and strength benefits, acknowledged by the building officials, and the fact that the city has an extreme shortage of affordable housing).