Couch Cushion Architecture; A Critical Analysis

Couch Cushion Architecture; A Critical Analysis

Before we were influenced by Mies van der Rohe or Frank Lloyd Wright, before we had seen the visual delights of Ronchamp, Pompidou Center and the Bauhaus school in Weimar, we were driven by a greater force of design inspiration. More primal and immediate than any of the previously mentioned examples, it was couch cushion architecture that established the basic building blocks of our design logic. Unrepresented and ignored for too long in the architectural industry, today’s post pays respect to the wonders of couch cushion architecture. We’ve rounded up a (mostly) admirable collection of projects, taken from a randomly conducted search on the internet. Join us as we take a critical analysis of the architecture, methods and design philosophies of living room furniture re-appropriation.


[Copyright Jennifer Larson]

A clear derivative of the Miesian box, this handsome project is “informalized” with the use of colorful, freeform roof panels. Taking further direction from the Archigrammovement, the project explores architecture as body wrap and propels couch cushion architecture to new and exciting territory. Grade: A


At first glance the composition appears unintentional and the construction shoddy. But further investigation reveals a clear delineation between indoor/outdoor space with a design focus on protection through the use of barrier. Planes are shifted off the orthogonal to accommodate function; as a side effect it relieves inhabitants from a harsh Euclidian geometry. Grade B


Benefiting from the life work of structural engineer Heinz Isler, this lightweight roof shell structure creates a graceful span while fully sheltering the interiors. Massive counter-weights keep the structure taught while an entire façade remains open to the exterior.Grade: B


Mayan in geometry but American barcalounger in function, this hybrid design allows for both formality and comfort. To our disappointment, the plan design could have taken better advantage of the site opportunities and, ultimately, the fact that a roof structure was not included in the programming detracts from the overall project. Grade: C+


The crisp, clean, white planes, drawing clear influences from Richard Meier, are balanced with a splash of color offered by the roof membrane. The disciplined interiors offer relief to the eyes with a subtle yet intentional blue tone. Grade B+


Good God gentlemen, you’re a mess! You need walls, you need a roof. Get to work man!Grade: F


The crisp, orthogonal structure is, in a way, camouflaged by the informality of the landscaping. While a clear bifurcation exists between site and structure, we give high marks to the close coordination of architect and landscape architect in using similar materials to exaggerate the divergent design concepts. Grade: B+


We greatly admire the use of coffee table as lateral moment-frame in this application. The solution is both formal and fun, offering the users a sequence of experiences beginning with the entry to vaulted ceiling to raised deck. Grade A-


While foundation as roof structure may not create the most efficient tectonic solution, we applaud the geometric inversion and fresh perspective on the “form follows function” relationship. As a side note it’s always disturbing to see the finish details carried out with such haste in the presence of true structural achievement. Grade: B-


A brilliant synergy between the weighted foundation and the light tensile structure, this project impressed us with its attenuation of structure and bright interior spaces. The courtyard and formal entry are also well thought-out and provide a clear means of way-finding. Grade A+

Couch Cushion Architecture; A Critical Analysis 2

Part two of Couch Cushion Architecture expands on the known collection of significant couch cushion projects in the western hemisphere and continues the discourse. As withpart 1 of the study, the basic DNA of design logic can be observed in these works. At the root of any great designer lies a strong connection to the fundamentals of couch cushion design and construction.


A simple geometry and clear orthogonal moves allow this project to be a three-dimensional extension of Mondrian’s thesis. We admire the subdued palette of materials and ambitious structural cantilever. The nebulous entry, however, confuses the approach and subtracts from the compositional success. Grade: C+


An ambitious architectural statement, this structure takes its design queues from middle-east cave dwellings. The calculated addition of bold colors and rich textures softens the eye and puts one at ease despite the unknown variables in its structural system. Grade: B


The A-frame’s sound structural properties and ease of construction have long since proven their architectural merits. We applaud the use of red shag carpet as a departure from what would otherwise be a mere pedestrian form. Grade: B+


While typically the stacked foundation technique leads to a stable and impressive base, this particular application seems dubious. Fraught with apparent labor strikes the project is rumored to have developed irreconcilable technical inadequacies and unresolved scheduling conflicts. Grade: D-


The clear reference to pole barn framing resonates with us and we found amusement in the tongue-in-cheek dual structural system. The clever siting of the project is finished nicely with a deliberately draped, light-weight roof structure. A warm, modern color palette gives the project a handsome and approachable street front. Grade: A+


Drawing from the saw-tooth roof structures of industrial Europe, the orthogonal volume cleverly employs a swing hinge access door, popularized by the mid-century modernmasters. Grade: B+


This whimsical project draws inspiration from the classic Tuscan stone towers of Italy; where a taller tower symbolized an owner’s power and prosperity over neighboring structures. Unfortunately the design falls short of greatness with its lackadaisical cushion placement and poor choice of plaid. Grade: C


Employing a northwest gable frame vocabulary, this structure initially impressed us with its optimal function per structure ratio. Unfortunate structural failures have since played a role in the demise of this particular project. Grade: C-


Although we’ve never been the post-modern movement’s biggest fans, the project is well planned and structurally efficient. Roof caps allow for natural ventilation and at the same time provide a deliberate change to the color palette. Grade: B


The project treads lightly on the land and gains enormous respect as a piece of true sustainable couch cushion architecture. Surprisingly, the minimal structure provides accommodations for a lone inhabitant. Grade: B


A rare example of cathedral buttressing, this project also employs a heavy medieval base. The interior incorporates a steel frame and establishes a “belt and suspenders” structural system. Technicalities aside, the project suffers from an inconsistent material palette attributed to coordination issues with the supplier. Grade A-


Source: BUILDllc.com

Views: 354

Tags: architecture, couch, crafthaus, cushion, humor

Comment

You need to be a member of crafthaus to add comments!

Join crafthaus

Comment by Rameen Ahmed on September 26, 2012 at 8:13pm

Hilarious!!  Brings back memories of talkitecture gone parental!

Comment by Ana M. Lopez on September 26, 2012 at 12:04pm

This makes my heart smile, thanks!

Comment by Leisa Rich on September 25, 2012 at 12:11pm

SOOOOO funny! Made me think of all of the couch architecture we have done in our family over the years!!!!! 

Comment by 2Roses on June 30, 2010 at 10:01am
Thank you for providing this much needed discussion on alternative environmentally-friendly housing. We are emailing you dirty dishes from our account in Aruba.
Comment by Brigitte Martin on June 30, 2010 at 9:31am

Thank you, Heather. As you have undoubtedly witnessed, on crafthaus, we aim to consistently provide:

a. educational experiences resulting from direct personal participation or observation;
b. actual knowledge or context, mixed with 
c. the possibility of a perception, independent of whether the object actually exists;
d. the totality of a person's perceptions, feelings, and memories in order to be emotionally or aesthetically moved by said event;
d. up-to-the-minute scientifically significant research topics as they pertain to the membership’s interests and knowledge-based backgrounds;
e. free dish washing (service available only in Aruba)

We appreciate your comment.

A Midsummer Day's Dream

Amber O’Harrow 

www.daisyspider.net

Iowa Blue: The Urbane Chicken

5’2” x 3’ x 6’4”

Cast Aluminum

A Midsummer Day's Dream - crafthaus online exhibition

Curated by Marie and Glen Guarino.

Latest Activity

Stacey Lee Webber and Nicolette Absil are now friends
9 hours ago
Younha Jung posted photos
18 hours ago
Brigitte Martin liked Peters Valley School of Craft's blog post Enameling in the Round with Harlan W. Butt
yesterday
Amanda Denison is now a member of crafthaus
yesterday
Kimberly Jackson joined Brigitte Martin's group
Thumbnail

Co:Operation GARNISH

Can the metal and jewelry field overcome its division and send out a much-needed signal?We appreciate and respect our historical past and acknowledge that current materials have a rightful place in jewelry/object making! Arriving at this message is the goal of this exhibition cooperatively arranged by Rachel Timmins and Brigitte Martin.Please join this group to stay informed !! This is the official exhibition blog.See More
yesterday
Brigitte Martin liked The Justified Sinner's blog post Back in the Workshop
Saturday
Brigitte Martin liked Vicky Saragouda's blog post The Cornershop
Saturday
Vicky Saragouda posted a blog post

The Cornershop

Artist Lucy Sparrow has hand stitched the entire contents of a corner shop. All familiar brands of grocery have been recreated in felt.…See More
Saturday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"Joanna Gollberg: Collected An Exploration of Travel Through Jewelry VELVET DA VINCI September 3 – 28, 2014 Artist’s Reception: Friday, September 5, 6-8pm San Francisco’s Velvet da Vinci is proud to present Joanna…"
Friday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"Conservation of Architectural Ironwork CPD Course A two day conservation course DATE: 6 OCTOBER 2014 - 7 OCTOBER 2014 For further details about NHIG CPD courses please click here. To book a place on this course please download our booking form and,…"
Friday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"RUBERG Our 'Cuboid' collection is now available at the beautiful jewellery boutique Ruberg. As part of the Islington Design District, Ruberg will be taking part in London Design Festival this September. Alongside the designs of Kamilla…"
Friday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"ROCK VAULT Supported by the British Fashion Council and curated by Stephen Webster, Rock Vault is a jewellery initiative to support, showcase and promote Britain’s most innovative, fine jewellery talent. We are so pleased to have been selected…"
Friday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"Flavour of the month Henrietta Fernandez - jewellery http://jam-eton.co.uk/makers/henrietta-fernandez.html Henrietta Fernandez creates contemporary jewellery inspired by her love of floral pattern, graphic shapes, colour and simple form. Henrietta…"
Friday
The Justified Sinner posted a blog post

Back in the Workshop

After the travels and entertaining of the summer, I am back to a very autumnal Glasgow and my new students. As the dust settles on the new term, it has been good to be able to grab some time in the workshop to actually make something. This time, inspired by one of my contacts on Flickr, "…See More
Friday
Peters Valley School of Craft posted a blog post

Enameling in the Round with Harlan W. Butt

The Fine Metals Studio was thrilled to have Harlan W. Butt on campus for "Enameling in the Round" ~ stunning work was done! Photo credit to our Fine Metal Artist Fellow Kristal! And we hope that Nicolette ~ Crafthaus Scholarship recipient enjoyed her time at Peters Valley School of Craft!…See More
Friday
Peters Valley School of Craft joined Glen Guarino's group
Thumbnail

A Midsummer Day's Dream

We are delighted to present "A Midsummer Day’s Dream"an online exhibition hosted by Crafthaus.  All artwork is designed and made by the artists.  The lead image is Hanging Planter by Chelsea Fay. Curated by Glen & Marie Guarino See More
Friday
Peters Valley School of Craft joined Brigitte Martin's group
Thumbnail

Co:Operation GARNISH

Can the metal and jewelry field overcome its division and send out a much-needed signal?We appreciate and respect our historical past and acknowledge that current materials have a rightful place in jewelry/object making! Arriving at this message is the goal of this exhibition cooperatively arranged by Rachel Timmins and Brigitte Martin.Please join this group to stay informed !! This is the official exhibition blog.See More
Friday
Peters Valley School of Craft joined Nicolette Absil's group
Thumbnail

A New Path: Enameling in the Round

New experiences in enameling, while taking "Enameling in the Round," with Harlan Butt at Peters Valley.See More
Friday
Emilie Pritchard commented on Chihiro Makio's photo
Thumbnail

Dodecahedron Necklace for zapp

"I love your use of geometry."
Friday
Profile IconSherry Simms and Ausra Bankauskaite joined crafthaus
Friday

© 2014   Created by Brigitte Martin.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service