This is the 13th commission for ICA’s Ramp Project Series and the first to invite architects to address this challenging space: the Los Angeles team of Linda Taalman and Alan Koch. Their project is on view this fall at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania from September 7–December 16, 2007.
Linda Taalman and Alan Koch, principals of Taalman Koch, will create an installation based on their iT House (pronounced “it”): an aluminum and glass “kit” house, or pre-fab, that has been produced and installed on several sites in California. This project at ICA will highlight one aspect of the iT House design: the collaboration with artists and designers to create applied vinyl window treatments that serve to create areas of privacy within the house’s all-glass walls. Vinyl graphic “outfits” by a range of creators, including Jim Isermann (whose graphic abstraction, inspired by modern design, was the subject of a 15-year survey at ICA in 1999), Liam Gillick & Sarah Morris, and Renée Petropoulos, will cover the windows of the ramp that face 36th Street. The interior ramp walls will evoke, through photographic imagery, the feeling of being inside the iT house. The ramp will be transformed into an architectural drawing, the house reduced, in a sense, to its linear forms. Designed to provide affordable design (especially in the often over-heated Southern California region where Taalman and Koch work), the iT house is an elegant and provocative solution. Additionally, the iT House addresses the architectural paradigm of the glass house, first made famous by Mies van der Rohe (Farnsworth House, 1951) and Phillip Johnson (Glass House, 1949).