Knowhow Shop’s micro-office on wheels in Los Angeles
In the Highland Park neighbourhood of Los Angeles, architects Kagan Taylor and Justin Rice of Knowhow Shop have designed and built a new office for their design studio in their backyard. Named ‘Lighthouse’, the project is a micro-building that is a place for work and also a physical example of the studio’s thinking and practice.
The team wiped their slate of experience clean to approach the project in a new way, pioneering new methods of construction. ‘Our intent was to build this project entirely by ourselves from ground up, not only due to financial constraints but as a proof of concept for a contemporary micro-building,’ say the architects.
Knowhow Shop’s Lighthouse micro-office by night. Photography: Stephen Schauer
The ‘light’ in ‘lighthouse’ refers to the weight of the structure. Instead of foundations, the little office rides on industrial casters borrowed from roll-off dumpsters. This means the office can travel – moving to a different corner to make way for a fabrication project.
Covering approximately 150 sq ft, the compact office has an oversized door and skylights. ‘We were surprised by the difference in perceived space from the outside vs. the inside. From within our office feels much larger than it looks from outside and it is something that most visitors comment on immediately,’ say the architects who credit this effect to the natural light and height of the space.
A shelf inside Knowhow Shop’s backyard office. Photography: Stephen Schauer
The architects looked broadly across different disciplines to create a new form of architecture. The design married boat building materials with technology from a car sun roof, while shop fabricated and mitered structural insulation panels were joined with film industry hardware. It was Taylor and Rice’s shared interest in traditional craft, digital fabrication and contemporary architectural design that led them to found Knowhow Shop in 2010 after meeting while on the UCLA Architecture Masters course. §