Located in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles, Mario Romano's Wave House must rate as one of the most unique houses we've seen here at New Atlas. The eye-catching luxury pad is wrapped in a facade comprising 300 individually cut pieces of white powdercoated aluminum that were designed using computer software and fabricated on-site.
Having 5,700 sq ft (529 sq m) of floorspace, spread over two floors, the Wave House is entered by a pivoting front door that's inspired by a skateboard deck. Inside, the home features intricate patterned walls designed by Romano and lots of suitably high-end furniture. There are a total of five bedrooms and four bathrooms, and an outdoor lounge area boasts a small home cinema. Sliding glass doors open the kitchen and dining area to the garden.
The most interesting part of this project is clearly its rippling aluminum skin. Romano likens the assembly process to the way a tailor crafts a suit of clothing. It was designed using computer software – the same kind of tools used by car and boat makers – and a CNC machine installed in the home's garage cut the sections of aluminum into shapes before they were painstakingly attached to a metal substructure.
"What my design team and I have developed is a digital tool that enables us to create schematic sketches, beautiful renderings, but stay constrained in constructibility," Romano told us over email. "This way, no matter what, when we see something beautiful in the computer, we can simply hit print."
We wondered if all that aluminum wouldn't heat up in the sunshine like a car hood on a hot sunny day and unduly warm the home's interior. When we put this concern to Romano, he said that the aluminum acts like a screen and there's a gap between the metal skin and the roof, which allows cooler air to flow between the two.
The home also sports a section of wall that's covered with a rain screen made up of white horizontal Corian strips that are likened to bird's feathers.
An aluminum skin is hardly the most practical or cost-effective way to go about cladding a house but, while intended to serve as a functional family home, the Wave House was also envisioned as a work of art, and Romano has designed several other homes using similar techniques.
The Wave House was completed in mid-2016 and is currently on the market. As you've probably guessed it isn't cheap, and has an asking price of just under US$5.5 million.
Source: Mario Romano