LOS ANGELES – ‘What if a room in California – where there is constant earthquake activity – showed traces of seismic movement?’
That is the question behind Studio Kiduck Kim’s Bye-By-Burnside, an experimental room renovation project in Los Angeles, California.
Los Angeles – like many cities worldwide – is increasingly prone to natural disasters including earthquakes, wildfires and torrential rain. Architects are thinking more about designing for disaster, which for the most part means aiming for ‘acceptable’ levels of destruction rather than no damage at all.
Bye-By-Burnside speculates on what would happen if the walls and edges of a room were shifted and swayed by the forces of an earthquake. Studio founder Kiduck Kim says, ‘The project reconfigures the characteristics of the room with colliding walls to create slits and pockets for both artificial and natural light. Shuffled edges redefine the characteristics of the room with colliding walls from non-perpendicular edges’.
Flexible buildings are predominant in Japanese architecture which has always responded to earthquakes. Increasingly, design in California also incorporates structures that are designed to bend and sway but not break in the face of tectonic movement. This project addresses issues of seismic architecture on the scale of an individual room, whereas most earthquake-responsive design considers building or urban scales.
The project evaluates the creative possibilities of catastrophe and how disaster might lead to welcome aesthetic outcomes.
Photos courtesy of Studio Kiduck Kim