LocationOrange, United States
Lead ArchitectsHorst Noppenberger AIA
Interior DesignerJanna Levinstein
This project involved a remodel and addition to an existing mid-century modern residence built in the 1960’s. The site is a hillside estate property overlooking a broad valley in Orange County, California. While the size and spatial configuration of the existing structure appeared suitable to accommodate the principle needs of the owners for sleeping and living space, they also required additional space to entertain family and friends.
The design explores contrapuntal relationships between form and materiality. The new entertainment space is contained within a steel and glass box, suspended weightlessly above the earthbound base of the existing single- level structure. A predominant skin of silver travertine slab reinforces the gravitas of the existing structure. This juxtaposition clarifies the intersection between the new and existing structure.
A reading of the architecture is revealed through a sequence of movements beginning at the street along the upper portion of the site. A wooden bridge spanning a reflecting pond provides a gesture of invitation leading to a walled, entry courtyard. This courtyard is contained within deep walls of silver travertine and wood screens, which allow filtered western sunlight to enter into the space while also providing privacy. A new, adjacent, two- storey entry volume contains an amorphic, flower- like spiral staircase, the connective tissue between the existing structure and the new entertainment pavilion above.
The lower level of the home retains the spatial configuration of the existing structure, essentially the classic “L” shaped, mid-century modern plan around a swimming pool and terrace. The east-west wing of the plan contains the communal area and the north –south wing the private sleeping spaces. The original swimming pool was enlarged and a new series of exterior spaces were created in this central courtyard area. The existing structure was stripped to the studs with many interior walls removed to create spatial continuity both inside and out. The principle interior materials of walnut, terrazzo and silver travertine recall the character of the original residence. The upper level addition contains an entertainment room and two guest suites. A 50-foot long, full height onyx wall inserted into the steel skeletal frame, providing both privacy and mitigation of the often intense southern sun, defines this space.
Photovoltaic panels, radiant floor heating, green living roofs and passive cooling systems including a water curtain the edge of the reflecting pond in the entry courtyard, integrate sustainable technologies and green strategies into the remodel and addition.
This project demonstrates that it is possible to fulfill the rigorous requirements of the client while engaging in a spirited and robust dialogue with the site, the original structure and the new addition.