Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Hope Ranch Residence | Santa Barbara | California | Shubin + Donaldson Architects
A “contemporary house with a Mexican flavor” is what the art-collecting client requested. The architects responded with a contextual mélange of multiple orthogonal volumes that are monumental to reflect a refined Mexican spirit in shape as well as in material. The solidity of forms on one side of the home speaks to the Mexican flavor of the structure, while the abundance of glazing on the other side relates to the physical context of the coastal site. The rough plaster of the 18-inch-thick walls—the same finish seen often in Mexico—adds texture and depth, and softens the monumentality of the forms. Although in the vein of Mexican architecture, this home departs in the choice of coloration, with a decidedly neutral, earthy pigment. Contrasting with the rough forms is the limestone-clad entry volume that appears to slice through the plaster volumes. The entry separates the home’s public and private spaces. Responding to the site, the architects created a constant interplay between indoor and outdoor in a continual effort to frame views and compose angles. Upon entering the building, beyond the play of forms, is the surprise view through the entry toward the negative-edge reflecting pool and out to the ocean beyond. Large, floor-to-ceiling windows wrap around a fountain, which also brings light into the home. One can go from the living room to dining room across the stepping stones in the central reflecting pool. An indoor swimming pool is accessed down the stairs from the master suite through a curved corridor that sports a rare hint of vibrant color. A deep orange curving corridor and sparkling blue wall in the pool house are a nod to a traditional Mexican palette. Three skylights punctuate the space that houses a 60-foot-long lap pool. The owners wanted the house to have public spaces for social events. The dramatic, open foyer and entry create a seamless experience for visitors as they journey from exterior to interior. Exterior limestone is repeated in the flooring, with contrasting darker limestone stripes echoing the ceiling articulation. Mexican Tzalam wood is used for the custom-made doors, the spectacular interior bridge, and the interior wood floors.