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Bettinger Residence

Malibu, CA

..."I believe in people, but I don't believe in the majority of the people,

...I think that in a better world I still would feel comfortable and in agreement with a minority"...

Nanni Moretti


Comedy can be the filter  through which social and political issues are

understood and help us to review our ideas and feelings about social practices, rituals,

rules and expectations about certain aspects of everyday living.


The illumination of social issues through an architecture of comedy helps to channel conflict and avoid superficiality in favor of broader understanding. In most cases illumination occurs when we leave our daily experience, for a moment, and

seek freshly offered points of view and fresh perspectives. An Architecture of Comedy can draw on lifestyle patterns, social behavior, and political structures or to personify an extended range of urban experiences in our city.


The comedy playhouse form, when interjecting a playful and creative environment, can serve as an urban activator for the city.

Comedians look at real issues and situations in three ways:


1. reality as illusion

2. reality through the comedian's eyes

3. reality as experienced by the audience through the comedian's eyes.


Comedy in this project is expressed using three architectural elements that interact with each other while being connected.


Qualities of glass will be the media to express these concepts, through transparency and translucency that sometimes allow clear understanding of what is behind and sometimes might distort perception of it.

The building is organized to mirror the comedic experience.


The long side of building embodies the perceived experience of reality which is defined through a straightforward structure and façade which give us illusion that we have a clear understanding of what happens around us; the flat, clear, and easy to read surfaces represent reality, and assumes the shape of what we want to see as the crystal clear truth. This element curves around and adjoins to another spacewhere the stage is located, the place where reality can be red, reinterpreted, distorted, or even reveiled to the audience.


Exploding out from the stage are the translucent cubes serving as post show small conversation areas which emboide the comedic reinterpretation of reality the audience has just experienced. The cubes contain small recess areas for only a small group of people. Each cube methaforically represents that small minority with an enlighted point of view and perception of reality.


The process of reiteration and reinterpretation belongs uniquely to comedians. This project represents their use of laughter, irony, and sarcasm lead to enlightenment.

Spectators develop their own opinion concerning the material presented; it may match with their previous way of thinking or may not. It may also match with the majority or minority of the people.


Ironically the small minorities observe the mass from their little cubical bubble, yet feeling perhaps outcasts but at the same time aware that they are in a much better and very special place.


The comedy playhouse then not only serves as a locus for alternative viewpoints, it also acts as a catalyst for evolving a community of openness and diversity.