In 1977, architect Helmut Schulitz built a High Tech style house for himself and his family to serve as both daily residence and prototype for a new process of design and construction.
In 1977, architect Helmut Schulitz built a house for himself and his family to serve as both daily residence and prototype for a new process of design and construction.
Perched on a steep lot that many thought to be unbuildable, the house is anchored by concrete caissons driven deep into the ground and cantilevers out in a series of severely rectangular volumes.
Schulitz was a strong proponent of the High Tech style, in which buildings are primarily built from prefabricated industrial components bought straight from builders’ catalogs. This minimizes on-site labor and reduces material costs. The architect designed his house on a simple, uniform modular grid using all compatible and interchangeable parts, which meant it only took a day and a half to erect the steel frame. Clad in aluminum panels, the house also features exterior pipes and ducts painted in bright primary colors, using the usually unsung technical components as bold ornamentation.
The house steps down the hill in three levels, starting at the top with a carport and entrance leading to a kitchen/family room. The second level contains a two-story living room, which then steps down to Schulitz’s studio. All of the interior walls are interchangeable and theoretically movable, since all of the house’s weight is supported by the steel structure.
Some neighbors unfondly referred to the house as “the Arco station,” but it was a seminal building in the development of the High Tech style and remains an important landmark of Late Modern architecture.