18.9.2014

Palms Residence, in Venice, California

The Palms Residence is situated on a site in Venice CA, with a two-bedroom main house at the rear and pied-a-terre above the garage at the front. (This layout is a reversal of the more common relationship between main and guest house found in this neighborhood.)

The previous iteration, a dated 1980s remodel in an American Southwestern style, had a single bedroom and an open loft.

The primary design challenge was to reconsider the building structures and allow shared use by an extended family while maintaining varying levels of privacy. Also the designers aimed to increase the amount of filtered daylight available throughout the main house and apartment. A lush courtyard addition increased the living space to 1,700 sf and allowed for a complete reorganization of all interior spaces. The two story façade facing the courtyard is entirely glazed, which in turn is shaded by a folding, perforated metal skin that rests on an aluminum exoskeleton.

This perforated skin and supporting aluminum armature is mirrored across the courtyard by a folding enclosure surrounding the garage apartment. Only these building surfaces extend into the courtyard and float above the courtyard. Primarily designed as sun shades, they provide privacy and filtered natural light into the main living spaces of the house and apartment. In addition they form the support structure for balconies that extend from the master bedroom of the main house and the apartment to allow family members to see each other across the property. In the evening these garden lanterns float above the courtyard.

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