A prototype for building a courtyard house on a steep California hillside
The design creates a sustainable house that blurs the line between inside and outside, lifting the spirits and connecting the inhabitants to nature through the ocean and the sky. Laguna Beach House develops a prototype for building a courtyard house on a steep California hillside. The stunning views from the site are exploited through the simple volumetric stacking approach of the design, the transparency of the volumes, and how the building elements frame space. The architecture, site and view combine to connect the inhabitants literally to their surroundings.
The house is zoned with the master bedroom above the living room, keeping the primary uses grouped on two floors. The second and third bedrooms are located under the living room at the lowest level. The building is broken into two masses; the living room element is pulled apart as a pavilion connected by a bridge to the kitchen-dining room element. Separating these two elements creates an outdoor courtyard surrounded by living spaces. The living room seen from the courtyard appears to be floating in space. The courtyard becomes a central space through which one can see into all parts of the house. The building consumes minimal energy; flat roofs are used to plant succulents or provide a platform for energy producing photovoltaic panels and solar hot water arrays. The house establishes a precedent in Laguna Beach for designing an appropriate, contextual, and sustainable dwelling.