Vertical House, Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects

Impossible to express in plan due to the constrained size of the site, this 2400sf residence diverges from the pre-established response to front and back yards by balanced articulation of the skin on all faces in the vertical direction.


A simple material, cement fiber board, has been innovatively used in conjunction with three types of glazing. This allows a powerful commentary on surface manipulation, defining architecture through the envelope of a volume rather than through the volume itself.


The state of hybridism in the surface formalizes the expression of a simple box while responding to the site restrictions. Verticality is again expressed in the central stair core, which extends beyond the roof for views of the Pacific Ocean, only three blocks from the site.


To maximize usable square footage, the site limitations have been pushed to the limits in both plan and height requirements, forcing the linearity of the design on paper to be translated in built form. The steel moment frame frees the skin from structural restraints, allowing an unrestricted rhythm of glazing, channel glass and solid panels. The skin illustrates the disparity of structure and envelope affected by different yet merging positions of exterior glazing.



Most simply, one idea coupled with and realized through materiality defines the architecture of this residence. The impact is both powerful and artistic.


Text courtesy of Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects

Published by Maxime Moreau

~ by Open Form Architecture on April 9, 2007.

3 Responses to “Vertical House, Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects”

  1. […] Located in Venice Beach, this is the creation of architect Lorcan O’Herlihy. The home sitting on a lot that is 25 ft. wide, has a total of 112 windows.  Photos and details from […]

  2. […] Vertical House: This 2,400 sq. ft. house was built from cement fiberboard, and it has been innovatively used in conjunction with three types of glazing. What’s amazing about this house is that it sits on a lot that’s only twenty-five feet wide. But, what it lacks in width, it gains in height. From the roof, a visitor can see the Pacific Ocean, which is three blocks away from this Venice Beach site. Bring plenty of window cleaner, as this home contains 112 windows! Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects, located in Culver City, California, designed this house. This firm has been recognized with twenty-four design awards including seven American Institute of Architects Design Awards. […]

  3. I thinkthis is really cool!!!

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