Squared up

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Fig: 1 – Squares as an element on a building façade – An illustration


Curves add a touch of excitement to anything static, but when it comes to functionality; straight elements are a crucial part of structures that are made anywhere.

Most buildings in ancient times used right angles in resonance with stable structures and were the only possible approach with the technology available back then.

Right angles have been attributed to efficiency in every aspect of our planet and this universe, right from laws of physics to human skeletal structures.

With times and technology shifting to curves as an aesthetic (Eg. Parametric Architecture), the power of rectilinear forms is overlooked with attribution to budget and mundane-ness.

What if squares are all we had? What if the only option to deliver a concept space for you was only rectilinear?

Fig: 2 - Squares as an element in a parametric design - An example seen in BIG’s serpentine pavilion


The qualm of using rectilinear forms usually comes into the spotlight when we look at generic urban environments at large. It creates this uneasiness of delivering average forms in the name of functionality.

When we look at the flip side, parametricism or deconstructivism on the converse can dominate the function as well while implemented to serve the spaces – hence the bias is not entirely accurate.

The exercise is focused on getting back to the basics, what if - all we had a single shape to design our buildings on? What if this shape’s positives and negatives were balanced out to make things work spatially and architecturally?

The challenge here would be constructing every element of a house to just one shape, a Square.

How would you as a designer interpret the qualities of the form in the physical realm of geometries translated into real forms?

How will the shape limitations help you shape a new experience through this form of limitation?


Yet to be added

Fig: 3 – Site Plan


Design a villa that is all squares right from the furniture to windows. The square shape can be embodied in at least in 2D to carve out the architectural concept. The forms necessarily do not require to be cubic and can take liberty in locking only two-dimensional square embodiment. The minimum requirements for the house must be three bedrooms, one kitchen and dining space, one living area, and a swimming pool. Filleting edges are permitted.

The site for this project is located in the Encino precinct of Los Angeles, CA. The site is located amidst several other villas and recreational properties.

The design outcome is expected to take into account the presence of other villas and locations next to the site to arrive at the views and privacy.

The site is placed within a contour land but it's completely leveled flat.

Site area - 1357 sqm
FAR - 1.0
Ground coverage - 40%
Setbacks as per CAD file.
Height Restriction - 12m
Coordinates - Maps