Text description provided by the architects. The clients for this project needed more space to accommodate the needs of a growing family, but they were reluctant to leave their location in Venice - one of the few walkable neighborhoods in Los Angeles. The solution was to maintain and remodel their existing 2000 square foot home, while creating a 1700 square foot addition and courtyard on the rear lane side.
With an ideal climate for much of the year, a primary design driver was to create a seamless connection between inside and outside, while eliminating the need for air conditioning To this end, a central sculptural staircase links the ground floor with the rooftop deck, while doubling as a chimney to draw cooling breezes through the house. On the main floor, a sequence of pivoting doors opens the house to the courtyard, while on the second floor, windows fold back and full-height exterior panels slide into walls. A system of cedar battens serve as a shading device along much of the addition.
The volume of the new master bedroom extends out from the second story, creating a carport below. Its exterior is clad with a living wall system on three sides, visually tying together the courtyard greenery with the planted roof. All landscaping is fed with a combination of captured rainwater and recycled domestic greywater. The roof’s softscape is divided between a highly productive vegetable garden and indigenous, low-maintenance grasses and shrubs. The roof also supports a solar panel array that is sufficient to meet household needs.
The house features a high-efficiency combination boiler, which supplies both radiant in-floor heating and domestic hot water. A hot water recirculation loop makes hot water available “on demand,” while reducing consumption. Other features include low-flush toilets and non-toxic, low-VOC finishes, which are used throughout the house.