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Montecito Residence, Toro Canyon, California, United States

Friday 29 Aug 2008

The house that fights fires

┬ęTim BiesOlson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects 
Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 2

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14/09/08 W. J. Kirschner, Wiesbaden
I am a German knowing California as a visitor. - I like this project very much as to architectural idea, planning and structure, as well as to fitting to surrounding and nature.

Conratulations to this extraordinary and very individual project!

Could you give me some more details, such as basic plan, materials etc. Just to get some more specific idea on your kind of approach - don't be concerned, I am not a pro, only an architecturally interested private person. I live in Wiesbaden near Frankfurt/Germany. If you happen to be in Germany ( Frankfurt international airport ) I'd be pleased to hear from you and to meet you.

Best regards

Walther J. Kirschner
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02/09/08 Bruce Stuart, Cambridge UK
Looks interesting but steel melts in excess heat and it also radiates heat when hot and becomes too hot to touch. Difficult to judge from the photos but some external wall surfaces seem to be steel also.

Montecito Residence uses nature to fight nature in fire-prone Toro Canyon 

Montecito Residence designed by Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects' is a single-family home set in the fire-prone Toro Canyon.

The owners wanted a house that minimized its use of scarce natural resources and recognized the challenging environmental conditions of the area. The design solution was to create a house that could harvest the climatic conditions which make the site so dangerous - the sun and the wind: a house that functions as an umbrella to shield the house from the sun and allows naturally cool offshore breezes to move through the space.

The house is made of simple, fire resistant materials. Steel will be allowed to oxidize and concrete will be toned to allow the house to blend into the landscape. The raised roof functions as an umbrella to shield the house from the sun, while the long central hallway allows naturally cool offshore breezes to move through the space. The hallway also creates an axis dividing the private from the public. To the east lies the public entrance, garage and road, to the west is a garden, pool and guest rooms.

The Montecito Residence was one 66 distinguished buildings to win this years Chicago Athenaeum's American Architecture Awards.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects

More projects by this architect

Tom Kundig: Houses 2

Three mixed use projects

Wing Luke Asian Museum

Triple award winner

Sun Valley Center of the Arts


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