Caverhill Residence / SPF Architects

Architects: Studio Pali Fekete architects
Location: , CA,
Project Team: Zoltan Pali, FAIA, Judit Fekete, Siddhartha Majumdar, Brian Di Maggio, Mark Meyer, Matt Lunn, Yvonne Wong, Gregory Fischer, Richard McNamara
Structural Engineer: John Labib and Associates
Landscape Architect: Korn Randloph Landscape Architects
Contractor: William Kent Development Inc.
Project Area: 418 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: John E. Linden

With a long, narrow span of angled “fins” lining its sleek façade from the street, the Caverhill house looks monumental, albeit a stealth monument. Entering beneath the canopy of the carport, one is transported into the main living space, is full of air and light. The fins provide privacy from the street, while playfully welcoming and diffusing narrow strips of light onto the home’s interior surfaces. The result is a beautiful dance of sunshine that changes throughout the day.

The home replaced a smaller house on the difficult hillside lot, maximizing both the narrow footprint and the spectacular views of the Los Angeles basin. A hillside building ordinance and a desire to keep the previous structure’s footprint made the project a challenge – the lot is more of a wedge shape than a parallelogram. As a result, the plan is a modified wedge, one end of the house almost twice as wide as the other.

section

The main entrance is on the second of three levels, where the living room flows openly into the kitchen and dining area. These communal spaces and the bedrooms on the upper level are punctuated on each end by over 1,000 square feet of generous covered terraces and balconies. Each cove is protected from the sun and wind but still open to views.

first floor plan

Simplicity was the goal of both the architect and the client. Steel framing allowed for a fully-open plan, free from interior walls or vertical supports obstructing the views. The result is a clean viewing angle of the exterior from almost any spot in the house. All of the house controls — heating, cooling, lighting, window shades, security and more — are contained within a control panel near the front door. Ductwork was eliminated by the use of an Airfloor System, which heats or cools rooms through a series of dome-like structures beneath the micro-finished concrete floor surface.

The upper level can be accessed either through the interior stair, or through exterior staircases located on either end of the house, incorporating the terraces into the main circulation flow of the home. Bathroom vanities float above the floor, the electrical outlets tucked below, out of sight.

“In Japanese painting you have one brush stroke that gets branch, leaves and flowers,” says owner, Don Caverhill. “That’s what we were hoping for — to have less things do a whole lot more.”

The lowest level of the house, set on the slope below street level, contains two guest rooms, a lawn and a patio with a long fire pit running toward an infinity pool.

Cite: "Caverhill Residence / SPF Architects" 18 Jan 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=46760>
  • Andrew Carnegie

    Looks great!

  • Michael

    wow.
    how do you spell ‘environmental footprint’?

  • Raymond L. Brower

    I am in awe- an exceptionally well executed modern home. Kudos to the design team!

  • Lee Calcanis

    Good job. I take my dog for a walk in this neighborhood and in a sea of faux Tuscan and other Mediterranean monstrosities it is refreshing and rewarding to see a contemporary project. Kudos to the homeowner as well for seeking out modern architecture in a town where The Grove and the The Americana at Brand set the aesthetic mandate.

  • Jeison

    It makes me think of those 70´s decadent hotels…

  • Kate

    Typical Los Angeles architecture!
    Looks good on magazines but has no substance!

    • http://www.home-remedies.br-pt.net/images/home-remedies-natural-cure-Body-Odor.jpg jay

      Kate – As for lacking substance, you might start with the correct choice of prepositions: you can then move up to finding a clue.

      • Michael

        jay.
        You win the funniest retort award for January 19 2010.
        Congrats!

      • Kate

        FU MTFK!

  • Sienna

    I really like the street facade. The other facade looks a bit commercial with unbroken storefront windows. I wish top floor of the 3 storey facade was treated differently; maybe with a screen element?

    • Trishawn Maphoussy, AIA

      Well said Sienna – and I like your name. I appreciate your constructive critical style, unlike some of the others on this site.. those who argue uninformed conclusions based on falsehoods and a poor grasp of construction materials and structural principles.

  • Jason

    I’d like to see some more photographs, especially of the interior, and especially of that West wall from the interior (by the way, I’m also glad that that IS, in fact, the west wall rather than the south as I had initially assumed… it’s beautiful, but also justified on the west wall.) Would also like to see some more interior photographs of the stairs/railings, etc. Also would like to see a more complete set of drawings, but wanting to see more photos and drawings goes for most projects on archdaily… if not larger ones. All in all a beautiful home, great design. I agree with the poster who said the top storey should be treated differently on the back side of the house. I love the subtle kink that occurs in that top volume in plan as well. Beautiful designed, and beautifully built project.

  • phishfood

    If only the street scape fins opened, that would be something and create an interesting dynamic to the house. Also agree with Sienna, lets max out the view from the back with walls of glass does take something away (at least in the photos).

    I do like the house and will be seeking it out to drive by to see how it is in person.

  • http://twitter.com/nicholaspatten/status/7980312145 Nicholas Patten

    I'd Live Here: Caverhill Residence. http://bit.ly/8TOmKz

  • http://twitter.com/wpstudios/status/7980331080 WPstudios

    RT @nicholaspatten I'd Live Here: Caverhill Residence. http://bit.ly/8TOmKz

  • Sienna

    I believe the architect’s facebook site has additional interior photographs-
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=128885&id=113409411789
    I am not how I feel about architecture firms having facebook sites- extending their footprint into the social media landscape while risking a loss of gravitas and rigor?

  • frank

    The front facade is very nice, even though the folding plane syntax is becoming quite exhausted (the slit on the right is a confirmation of this). Agreed with above – the back facade is a bit of a mess. I think the problem is the front just doesn’t translate well into a 3-story back..