The Cube

Submitted by CCS ARCHITECTURE

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Client: private/residential

Location: San Francisco, CA, United States

Completion date: 2017

Artwork budget: $250,000

Project Team

Architect

Cass Calder Smith

CCS Architecture

Art Consultant

CCS Architecture

Other

Victor Mezhvinsky

MT Development

Landscape Architect

Danielle Steuernagel

SCULPT

Overview

The Cube is a 10’x10’x10’ mirrored cube slightly rotated to juxtapose it to the site. From the main house and yard levels below, it’s meant to be a mysterious and changing sculptural object that reflects the landscape, the sky, and the view depending on your viewpoint…it essentially photographs its surroundings. Inside the cube, it transforms to a circular drum-shaped space with an oculus to the sky.

Goals

The Cube's DNA is based on a James Terrell Sky Space. The structure of the cube is reinforced fiberglass, which allows for the tapered oculus to come to a knife-edge. It was craned into place in five pieces and then had the exterior and interior finishes applied. The circular seating is precast concrete with integral heat, while the walls are white marker board, and the ceiling is felt. It’s meant as an intimate place for ideation, conversations and contemplation.

Process

The design team consisted of CCS Architecture, headed by Cass Calder Smith and the owner’s creative director, Akemi Tamaribuchi, from Subject to Change, who brought CCS onto the project. The collaboration resulted in an overall creative alliance betweeen the client and the design team to create something unique and beautiful. Although the spectacular views are the main connection to the outside, the terraced yard is also meant to play a significant role in the experience of the house. It was designed and built by SCULPT - a bay area landscape firm. Local construction firm, MT Development brought the ideas to life.

Additional Information

The actual and conceptual path is that you ascend up through the house, then up through the yard to the highest place on the site with the best city views, and then you go around to the back of the cube through a portal, and enter it. Once inside, since the view of the sky is now the only view, the city and its action is pleasurably left behind.