design studio ‘i stiffen thee’, founded by neal lucas hitch‘s family and friends, has built the kerplunk house in ocotilo, california, as a bridge between found space and built space. looking to establish an architecture that not only resembles nature, but is nature, the house’s carefully designed structural precariousness lends itself to an innate primal comfort normally only found in nature. the multipurpose living and working space is the first piece of infrastructure in the desert propagation center, where, over time, flora will be planted and transplanted to cover its surroundings.

a forest of columns suspends the kerplunk house over the californian desert, by i stiffen thee
photos by breyden anderson

 

 

instead of starting off the design process by coming up with a typical plan of walls and columns, i stiffen thee conceived the house as a forest of columns, which were then locked into place by building walls, floors, and ceilings around them. the result is two cuboid, enclosed spaces suspended in midair, with windows and doors cut out around and in between the columns. stucco and exposed structural-wood details recall the traditional colonial spanish design of the area, while the inside of the building reflects the integrated exterior-to-interior relationship. the design aims at encouraging people to interact with the space primarily through exploration and adaptation. ‘with the kerplunk house, we have created a novel living experience that evokes a primal spatial sense; as if an entire forest was shrunk and stuffed inside an 8×8 square foot room,’ the architects explain, ‘the pavilion questions the very nature of architecture and suggests that perhaps the primary role of the architect is to create spaces for people to find.’

a forest of columns suspends the kerplunk house over the californian desert, by i stiffen thee
eastern view of house

a forest of columns suspends the kerplunk house over the californian desert, by i stiffen thee
aerial view of house


interior of large cube

a forest of columns suspends the kerplunk house over the californian desert, by i stiffen thee
interior shot with blooming prickly pear cactus

a forest of columns suspends the kerplunk house over the californian desert, by i stiffen thee
interior of small cube


exterior detail shot of exposed wooden trunks

a forest of columns suspends the kerplunk house over the californian desert, by i stiffen thee
interior detail shot


exterior detail shot

a forest of columns suspends the kerplunk house over the californian desert, by i stiffen thee
exterior view of house at night

a forest of columns suspends the kerplunk house over the californian desert, by i stiffen thee
interior sketch


section perspective

 

 

 

project info:

 

 

name: kerplunk house

 

architect: i stiffen thee

 

team: neal lucas hitch, neal v hitch, kristina fisher, martin hitch, paul herman, davis hitch

 

location: ocotillo, california

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: sofia lekka angelopoulou | designboom

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