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.