Party of six...

House designed for a family of 6 to be environmentally conscious and contextually appropriate

by Naomi Langer 30 December 2010
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    Naomi Langer Studio were asked to design a house for a large intergenerational family in Los Angeles. The site is on a relatively small, 7,800 sq ft corner lot in a dense residential neighbourhood. The challenge was three-fold; first, the family desired separate and private living quarters and wanted multiple outside recreational facilities. Second, the clients, active in their community, were eager for the house to fit harmoniously in the urban context. Finally, the architects were committed to honoring principles of environmentally sensitive design and construction.

    The street edge is wrapped in stone while the private backyard is faced with large windows and sliding doors. In meeting specific space requirements, the architects designed a below-ground level of living and recreational spaces whose ceiling sits two feet above grade allowing for a band of natural light to enter all rooms. The ground level provides for continuous circulation throughout the public spaces and a direct connection to the landscape. The landscape corresponds with the needs of the family and includes a regulation sports court, a formal outdoor dining and cooking space, as well as a family room overlooking the private pool and garden.

    The second storey is divided into two zones of bedrooms linked by a double-height, sun-drenched spine. To preserve natural resources, the property is powered principally by photovoltaic panels which are housed on the roof sloping to the southwest at 12%. Operable clerestory windows, sun shielding overhangs, and canopy elements maximise the use of natural light while controlling heat gain and air flow to the house. Sustainable materials including fsc certified wood flooring, concrete with 30% fly ash, and dual glazed low-e glazing, is used throughout the construction of indoor and outdoor elements. The resulting design provides a spacious user friendly house that will have a minimal imprint on the earth’s resources. The house was completed in May 2010.

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