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Cat's Cradle

Silver Lake, CA


At a hillside apartment building in Silver Lake, CA there was a lack of flat open space for tenants to gather. It sits high on an upward sloping lot allowing for incredible views toward West Los Angeles, but nowhere to gather collectively to take it all in.  Taking advantage of a retaining wall built long ago, WTARCH perched a 1500SF deck off the edge of the wall and out over the downward sloping hill toward the view beyond. Positioned like a nest on a precipice, WTARCH wanted to balance feelings of flight and being dropped over the edge with the security of being tethered and hung safely. The ribbons of the guardrails represent these conflicting forces - of thrust outward and gravity's resistance pulling back: intertwined around the balustrades like strings around fingers. 

Composed of steel ribbons, the guardrail is a crisscrossing interlace of members winding around and between the balustrades. WTARCH used digital modeling tools to model, cut, and bend the ribbons around the uprights – each turn requiring a unique conic section being rolled to account for the change in the vector of the ribbon. The project was fabricated on and off site by Ramirez Ironworks.


Photo Credit: Eric Staudenmaier

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