The Brain BY Olson Kundig Architects


Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

The Brain is a 14,280 cubic-foot cinematic laboratory where the client, a filmmaker, can work out ideas. Physically, that neighborhood birthplace of invention, the garage, provides the conceptual model. The form is essentially a cast-in-place concrete box, intended to be a strong yet neutral background that provides complete flexibility to adapt the space at will. Inserted into the box along the north wall is a steel mezzanine. All interior structures are made using raw, hot-rolled steel sheets.The double-height single room of the main space is inserted with a loft constructed entirely of 1/2-inch steel plates that are welded and folded in an “origami” fashion in order to produce the rigidity and strength need to become structurally self-sufficient. A set of stairs to the loft is hidden behind a darkroom and storage space is tucked beneath the steel loft, while a fireman’s pole provides an easier and more flamboyant means of egress down.The Brain Studio is as much a treehouse, fort, and playroom as it is a serious work space, and ultimately it is a quirky but true reflection of the client and his personality.