HOUSEofCARDS Louisiana building, USA Artist Retreat, American folly, LA Architecture Photos

HOUSEofCARDS in Arnaudville

Nov 6, 2022

Design: UL Building Institute

Location: Arnaudville, Louisiana, United States

HOUSEofCARDS Arnaudville

Photos courtesy of Chad Chenier

HOUSEofCARDS, Louisiana

The HOUSEofCARDS is a design/build project in Arnaudville, Louisiana. The project was conceived as a folly on a rural piece of land and serves as an artist’s retreat for a non-profit community organization.

HOUSEofCARDS Arnaudville Louisiana

The concept is that of a 16’x16’ self-sufficient Thoreau’s Cabin on a Cajun Walden Pond. Concrete was chosen as the primary material for its longevity and durability.

HOUSEofCARDS Louisiana

HOUSEofCARDS Louisiana

In this way and at this small scale, concrete is a sustainable material because it will not require maintenance and will last indefinitely. Twenty-nine third year and graduate architecture students designed and built the HOUSEofCARDS over two semesters.

HOUSEofCARDS Arnaudville Louisiana

The concrete was mixed in small batches on the site and poured in 12” lifts. The 10” thick walls are insulated in the middle with 2” of polyisocyanurate foam insulation providing a vapor barrier and thermal break.

HOUSEofCARDS Arnaudville Louisiana

The walls were dyed the color of earth to blend into the site and contextually textured with the salvaged board formwork from a dismantled barn on site. The walls lean at 8 degrees against each other on the corners like a house of cards achieving forced perspectives and scale shifts.

HOUSEofCARDS Arnaudville Louisiana

Paradoxically, even though the structure is heavy and monolithic, the extensive windows and clerestories imbue the space with lightness as if it had been built with giant’s hands from a deck of cards.

HOUSEofCARDS Arnaudville Louisiana

The polished concrete floors and salvaged pine butcher block countertops and desk provide a relaxing space for artists and scholars to produce their work. The building has water from a well, electricity from a planned solar array, a mini-split heat-pump, and a compost toilet providing self sufficiency.

HOUSEofCARDS Arnaudville

In addition to hands-on experience in material properties and processes, the students gained expertise in client and consultant relations, subcontractor coordination, budgeting, and scheduling. Within this small rural outpost, solitude and community unite.

HOUSEofCARDS Arnaudville HOUSEofCARDS Arnaudville

HOUSEofCARDS, Arnaudville, Louisiana, USA – Building Information

Architecture: University of Louisiana at Lafayette –

Project sponsored by Absolute Concrete Polishing, ADG Engineering, Air Plus, Alchemco, American Institute of Architects – South Louisiana Chapter, Armentor Glass, Associated General Contractors – Construction Educational Trust Fund, Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, Billeaud Companies, Construction Specifications Institute – Acadiana Chapter, Dave’s Screen and Window, Delehoussaye Company, Distribution International, Doug Ashy Building Materials, Enterprise Data Concepts, Event Solutions, Grace Hebert Curtis Architects, Gulf Coast Air Systems, Holly and Smith Architects, Iberia Rental, JB Mouton Builders, Lambright Construction, Mapei, Metal Head Architectural Metalwork, Oge’s Rent-All Center, Peppers Unlimited, Ramier Architects, Randall J. Hebert & Associates, The Gen Group Construction, and White Cap.

HOUSEofCARDS Arnaudville

Photography courtesy of Chad Chenier

HOUSEofCARDS, Arnaudville images / information received 061122 from UL Building Institute

Location: Arnaudville, Louisiana, United States of America

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