Thom Faulders

Thom Faulders

All photos Tom Santosussi/Digited Image Co.

San Francisco architect Thom Faulders’ “Deformhouse,” a renovated townhouse in SF’s Potrero Hill, takes a page from the jigsaw puzzle. The project (above) was built for one of Apple’s VPs, and highlights two formal experiments that embrace the curve, using fractured, two-dimensional forms to create three-dimensional illusions. The top floor’s ceiling and walls are composed of wavy, computer-milled MDF panels cut into individual pieces fitted together.


The process was fairly simple: Faulders instituted a set of rules for the pieces (which are all unique), and one of his assistants created the forms in Vector Works. “It’s like an algorithm carried out by humans,” said Faulders, describing the process. The house’s backyard patio is formed from hundreds of Marine Plywood pieces set onto a fiberglass grating, designed to resemble a vortex in which all of the space’s energy appears to be sucked into one spot, containing the only tree.

Faulders’ team gave their 2D designs to a production team from Studio Under Manufacture (SUM), which translated them into 3D parts in Rhino. While these mind-bending compositions are computer driven, it still takes old-fashioned and time-consuming handcraft to place and cement into the puzzle.

Back to "To Catch a Curve."