2008 AIATC Design Excellence Award

This project is a sustainably conceived and built project on one of Venice’s most unique pedestrian streets. The building is a 4,900 square foot, 3 bedroom residence and studio/gallery. Rare for commute heavy Los Angeles, the artist-client plans on working and living in the same residence along this densely used street, permitting direct access to shops, cafes and restaurants right off the front door step.

The client requested we layout the building with the first floor serving as the studio/gallery and the remaining floors the family residence. Hence, the first floor is relatively open to the street for the expected commerce to take place. This storefront window system is continued up the front facade to the second floor, purposely blurring lines of commerce and domesticity. The second floor is the family social area, drawing a thin line of privacy and domesticity into the first floor below-- the only method of being closed to the public below is by signage, owing to the clients expectation of frequently entertaining clientele and friends on both first and second floors. Bedrooms are housed on the third floor, the fourth floor roof deck is a private getaway for the family.

The neighborhood is densely built and occupied, the client wanted views/sunlight and privacy despite this. The solution was to create a south facing interior patio located in the middle of the building that is shielded from the street and brings the outside into the house. By facing south, the courtyard will still receive copious light if and when the adjacent property is built to a similar height and density.

By client and architect strategy, this residence implements environmentally sustainable and healthy components and building methods that are intended to be not only conscious of their impact today, but more importantly of the health of the planet and ecosystems of tomorrow. The 2 stair towers have operable doors and windows at roof level, providing passive heat stack release to keep the house cool on summer days. These measures are good for the whole environment, good for indoor air quality and good for reducing energy consumption.

Building type:Residence/Retail
Completed December 2008
Venice California
5,100 sq ft
Primary components:
polished concrete floors, board formed concrete bamboo floor/walls, fleetwood sliding doors, bonderized metal panel, fsc certified finish wood, venetian plaster, solar PV and Evacuated tubes