Saturday, January 1, 2011

Single Family House | Mar Vista California | YU2E

House- 2950 s.f.
Decks - 690 s.f.
Parking - Detached two car garage 484 s.f.
Recreation Room + Pool House - 459 s.f.

This was a first in a series of explorations of the single family suburban house. It is well documented that the single family program enables a relatively flexible and architecturally accommodating form.
It’s inherent “detached” quality panders to an individual’s tendency to be identified as separate or unique from the context.
This is especially pronounced in Mar Vista, a Venice Beach adjacent community with lots four times the size to contain four times more architecture.
But beyond the site, all other factors were finite and restricted.
While the zoning requirements were mild, the desires of the client did not match the resources available.
Big yards and large homes are difficult to marry even on a pretty generous lot. The usual budget constraints also limited the range of materials and systems available for implementation and relegated it to the ubiquitous Stucco and drywall over wood stick framing.
With the existing house footprint as a point of departure, an analysis of the private and public nature of the new program was conducted to determine the areas of all the desired as well as required spaces.
A distillation of their “privateness” separated them into different blocks that were “stacked” according to their relationship to use, circulation and adjacencies. This translated into a building with it’s program almost legible in its form.
It also resulted in varied setbacks beyond that usually required per zoning and made ample open space (yards and decks) possible.
Though the home was three stories tall, the extra open space negated the overall scale of the building.
The clean lines, stark finishes and modern nature are a departure from the mostly expected stylings of the surrounding neighborhood, but it does not stand overtly outside the edges of the standard suburban neighborhood.
There is transparency to the public side of domestic life. There is engagement with the public right-of-way with the requisite front lawn and mediating front porch and entry.
These are all elements found in classical homes that have been re-interpreted and re-expressed. .......more

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