jimenez lai: briefcase house
jimenez lai: briefcase house jimenez lai: briefcase house
nov 08, 2010

jimenez lai: briefcase house

‘briefcase house’ by jimenez lai in chicago, illinoisphoto by jasper reyes all images courtesy jimenez lai

‘briefcase house’ by jimenez lai is a small pavilion-like structure which has been designed to be treated as a house within a house. located within a 426 m2 warehouse loft, the project is the only form of partitions and privacy in the open space, exploring the notion of the outside vs. inside. through a narrative illustrated in the form of a comic, lai examines the need for a space that strictly cuts out (materially and spatially) all the unnecessary elements of a user’s day to day life.

influenced by mies van der rohe’s ‘farnsworth house’ and the ways in which it designated each program without the aid of a single wall, ‘briefcase house’ aims to carve out specific dimensions for appropriate activities within the loft space. built on castors, the house can be rolled around to distort the program’s proportions. other influences include the paintings of lucio fontana and robert motherwell, who play with and bring forth the qualities and awareness of negative space. depending on the user’s coordinates, the residual gap outside of the ‘briefcase house’ could be seen as an extremely thick wall-cavity, or conversely, when the user is occupying the rest of the loft space, the mini-house becomes a solid obstruction.

interior views (left): photo by jasper reyes(right): photo by kail kroll

to accompany the project, a storyboard for the project called ‘the obsession accelerator’ was created to illustrate the concept and objective of the ‘briefcase house’.

photo by kamil kroll

from the bedphoto by jasper reyes

facing the bed photo by kamil kroll

encased bookshelf photo by kamil kroll

‘briefcase house’ open photo by kamil kroll

axonometric diagram of the content



  • jimenez,

    beautiful as always.

    betadinesutures says:
  • Please send me plans, I love it!

    Stewart Bowland says:
  • Why don’t you just drive a camper van into your appartment?

    Looks like solitary confinement.

    and the cartoon is, sorry, a bit over my head…

    thick shit says:
  • hum… no thanx.

    you says:
  • uf, hard to resist!
    i’ll say YES.

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    sdf says:
  • I came up with the same idea a few years ago in my interior achitecture course, i guess like minds things alike.

    toomuchforyou says:
  • I called mine the veranda house – it was 1 tsubo and on my veranda in Tokyo- I thought the veranda was wasted space- usually only used to hang laundry- and our apartment was reallly really small. but it was convertible to be opened up depending on the weather and you had windows to see outside. It wasn’t this claustrophobic or this phobic in general- I still like this design- reminds me of a car- most people have everything they need and want in theircar.

    mark says:

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