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SPECIAL MILLENNIUM ISSUE / HOME & DESIGN | C NOTES:
So Cal at the Turn of the Century

Working Out A Fresh Perspective

May 16, 1999|Michele Botwin

Since we don't live in Fargo, N.D., why not telecommute alfresco? If you've ever tried to work outside, though, you've probably squandered time jiggering the laptop screen to fight glare or chasing papers hijacked by a gust. Eventually, you wound up back inside for an electrical plug.

The outdoor home office of the future envisioned by architects at Marmol and Radziner in Santa Monica is a variation on the Modernist theme of "the machine in the garden": It relies on advances in portable technology to maximize users' connection to nature. Movable parts serve multiple functions: Walls provide storage, the floor is also a desk, and retractable roof planes act as solar collectors. Pull-out units neatly store tech devices such as a fax/copier, and the desk houses a pop-up TV.

Walls, roof panels and canvas shades adjust to protect against wind, rain and sun. The office can be connected either to a traditional utility grid or to the solar collectors. A heated chair and office lamp let you work comfortably at night.

The 8-by-10 space is also portable. Constructed of lightweight, durable materials, it can be dismantled and reassembled, even in North Dakota.

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