Copyright 2003-2022

Steel House | Los Angeles, CA

The Slide House aims to investigate the opportunities created by physically sliding and moving different elements of the house. The dining room and kitchen are located on the ground floor in addition to laundry, storage and mechanical space. An adjoining volume contains an office, which is accessible both from the main house and a dedicated entry. Three bedrooms are located in two separate volumes that slide in and out of the house in two directions. These volumes are supported by dense, welded cages of rectangular tubes, and are suspended from a track attached to the main structural girders above.

Moving one or both of these volumes out opens up additional living space upstairs and provides shade for the patio and garden spaces below. It may be desirable to the family to open up the southeast living space in the late afternoon when the sun is not as intense in that zone. During the mornings or earlier afternoon, the family may choose to move the volumes to fully open the west living space. Furniture and entertainment will be housed within the walls of these volumes so that it may be unfolded or pulled out like a drawer depending on which space is being used.


The envelope of the Slide House is comprised of solid metal panels, wooden strip cladding (Trex synthetic wood), glazing, and on the sliders, perforated metal panels. These perforated panels will fully enclose the sliders to call attention to their differing nature as well as allowing the volumes to glow softly at night as light is emitted from the bedrooms. The wood elements are meant to draw one into certain areas of the house as they extend into the interior along walls and begin to fold around the house.


The primary structure includes two large moment frames that run the length of the house, comprised of 10x10 columns and 12” deep I-beams. These are braced with 6x6 rectangular tubes at the east and west ends of the house. 16” deep girders cantilever across the top of these frames (perpendicular) and are tied back to the ground with steel cables embedded in the foundation. This cantilever allows for the unobstructed movement of the sliders. C-channel edge beams are framed into the I-beams, and corrugated metal decking with concrete is used to create the surfaces.

Both sliders are hung from a track assembly which hangs from the girders above. Slider A moves 5’ laterally and 10’ longitudinally. It is supported by a dual-wheel assembly that locks into modified rectangular tubes running in both directions. Slider B moves 7’ longitudinally and is supported by a dual-wheel assembly that locks onto both sides of each I-beam running in that direction.


The overhang created with the cantilevered girders provides shade to the southwest living space if the sliders are closed, but still allows low winter sunlight to heat the space if desired. Louvers and glazing slide out of the volumes to enclose the house when the sliders are in partially or fully opened conditions. These elements may also be left open to allow for cross ventilation, as the north façade makes use of operable clerestory glazing. On the ground floor, a large glazed wall kicks open to catch the prevailing WSW winds as well as open up the house to an outdoor patio on the south. Solar PV panels are integrated into the slider roofs, which are oriented directly south and canted at 59 degrees. Water is collected via a roof gutter on the north side and then travels down the structural steel cables and into a French drain at grade. A catch basin located underground stores this water for later use. Liquid radiant heating located within the floor slabs provides extra comfort to residents.

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