REX has just released their winning competition design for a unique residential competition: a private residence for three generations. The estate includes the parents’ home, four children’s homes, event space, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, gym, spa, library, study, home cinema, and performance space.
The dream of a family patriarch was to design "a jewel box for individual lifestyles" in which he, his wife, his four children and each of their four families would reside. Because three out of the four children do not yet have families of their own, the building concept needed to be designed to accommodate the families that do and do not yet exist. The ensemble of five homes were to have the architectural integrity of a single building, to look as though they had always been part of the site and needed to incorporate a classic double stair.
To create a structure in which each home could be experienced individually but also as a component of a larger domestic network, the estate's program is organized into a necklace. The pieces of the necklace alternate between the five homes and five shared pavilions.
The site commands views out to the ocean from a high bluff on one side, and into a dense, old-growth forest on the other. Straddling the line between these radically different landscapes, the necklace exists simultaneously at the beach and in the woods. Each of the five homes are thereby afforded different site experiences: ocean, forest, or half-and-half. While the ocean-side portions of the residence are on grade, due to the site’s steep drop-off, the forest-side portions extend horizontally into the tree canopy, giving these elements a tree-house experience. Entry is gained by driving under the residence’s elevated components into a secret garden at the building’s heart.
To accommodate the possible needs and proclivities of the families, which do not yet exist, the five homes are designed with a distinct living typology based loosely upon one of five canonical, Modernist homes: Philip Johnson’s Glass House, Eero Saarinen's Miller House, Eero Saarinen, Charles Eames, and Ray Eames' Case Study House No. 8, Louis Kahn's Fisher House and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Tugendhat Villa. This will allow the four children and their families to gravitate towards the home that best meets their lifestyle or to enjoy an alternate experience with each stay.
Driving under the cantilevered home, one enters the arrival courtyard: a secret garden whose clear, fluted glass visually ties the three-generational family together. The residence’s main entry and its curling reinterpretation of a classic double stair provide access to the residence’s roof terrace, while also serving as an event space with views to the ocean and central garden.
The residence’s exterior is wrapped in mirror glass such that upon approach, the building disappears into the site. The effect reduces the perception of the structure’s large mass and surreptitiously achieves the patriarch’s desire for a structure that “looks as if it has always been part of the site” by looking like it isn’t there at all. By night, the exterior’s mirror glass appears to dissolve, creating a lively lantern on the bluff.
Key PersonnelAdam Chizmar, Alberto Cumerlato, Mette Fast, Tyler Hopf, Gabriel Jewell-Vitale, Roberto Otero, Joshua Prince-Ramus, Aude Soffer, Minyoung Song, Elina Spruza, Alex Tehranian, Cristina Webb
ConsultantsArup, Front, Kean Development, Magnusson Klemencic, !melk, Tillotson Design
PhotographsCourtesy of Luxigon, Courtesy of REX