Penthouse of Domestic Transgressions


Date: 2016

Status: Schematic Design

Location: Medicine Hat, Canada

Program: Penthouse, Roof Terrace

Size: 230m2

Team: Jessie Andjelic, Philip Vandermey, David Vera, Justin Loucks, Ashkan Ataee, Elena Bushell


Our client, a young lawyer, approached us to design his penthouse. As a new partner in a law firm, he is extremely busy and divides the majority of his time between the office, the courthouse, and preparing for court cases over the weekend and during late nights at home. Moments of escape from his profession of law are few and far between, which led us to think about the house as a space that could facilitate the transgression of domestic laws, norms, boundaries, and activities. The penthouse includes the entire upper level of the building and the development of the previously unused roof above.

Bar House

Services are buried in a thickened wall that runs the length of the side walls of the penthouse. A large spinning wall in the center of the room creates a constantly shifting boundary. It can be used to divide public from private, sleeping from living, working from leisure, south from north, reading from cinema, office from house, and etcetera. A courtyard space on the roof eliminates all but two strategic views, and opens a central green space to the sky.

Court House

By reversing the typical relationship between an interior space that’s divided into rooms and an open roof garden, the Court House provides a flexible and open interior landscape on the lower level, and a ring of rooms, both interior and exterior, on the upper level. A variety of devices and machines create shifting conditions of open / closed, private / visible.