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TURBULENCE HOUSE
NM, United States, 2001-2005

PROGRAM: guest house
CLIENT: Richard Tuttle / Mei Mei Berssenbrugge
SIZE: 900
STATUS: completed

Adjacent to adobe houses built by the artist Richard Tuttle, this small construction sits atop a windy desert mesa. It is imagined like the tip of an iceberg indicating a much larger mass below. The form allows turbulent wind to blow through its center. The stressed skin and aluminum rib construction is digitally prefabricated in Kansas City then bolted together on site. A total of 31 metal panels, each with a unique shape are fabricated to form the "shell" of the house. The second Turbulence House, made for an exhibition in Vicenza, Italy, is in a private sculpture park in Italy. The metal fabricator utilizes digital definition combined with craftsmanship to produce intricate shapes. By means of parametric logic, materials can be converted into engineered assemblies with an accuracy once considered impossible.
'It is a building that on one hand announces the use of the most advanced technology and on the other hand seemingly celebrates the pleasure of elements such as light and the vast horizon. It is quite rare that we encounter such a comparable mixture; it is characteristic of an artwork in which the use of very reduced elements produces a very complex whole. With Turbulence House, Steven Holl has established a new paradigm for the house of the future'.
-Yehuda Safran, Domus 884, September, 2005
'Holl's projects . . . are often a little subversive and at the same time humane'.
-Michael Kimmelman, New York Times Magazine, May 21, 2006
'As its name implies, Turbulence House aims to shake things up. Instead of following the standard method of on-site wood- or steel-frame construction, this little guesthouse on a windy mesa in New Mexico tests the future, exploring new technologies that harness computer and manufacturing processes'.
-Clifford Pearson, Architectural Record, April, 2005
CREDITS

architect
– Steven Holl Architects
Steven Holl (design architect)
Anderson Lee, Richard Tobias (project architect)
Arnault Biou, Matt Johnson (project team)

local architect
– Kramer Woodard Architects

structural engineer
– Delapp Engineering

metal panel fabricator
– A. Zahner Company
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