Pacific Palisades, USA
Situated at both the near edge of the Pacific Ocean and the foot of the Santa Monica Mountains, the Ziering Residence (also known as Rosanne’s House) is a thoughtful exploration into the inherent counter-play between the two natural energies, emphasized in the corresponding curved design’s juxtaposition of density and tone.
The street-view is unassuming, as every effort was made to harmoniously integrate the front façade into the surrounding landscape through a low-slung profile necessitated by neighborhood viewing restrictions, a gently curved exterior that follows the natural arch of the street, and the use of 1x2 Ipe wood battens that conceal the entry, garage doors, and the majority of the interior’s whole. Strategic slot windows give glimpses of what lies inside, and three pivoting wall panels can be adjusted to offer views into the courtyard and the ocean beyond.
Unlike the front, the rear courtyard area is an exercise in transparency, clad in sliding glass panels that open the entirety of the house to the outdoors. A deep overhang offers an interstitial covered area for al-fresco living, shaded by a fourteen-foot canopy linking a sequence of open living areas to a terraced garden and pool. The project utilizes an open floor plan with the living, dining, parlor, and kitchens spread along a curve, giving way to a corner master suite and leading to a lower level with a suite of children’s bedrooms opening up onto a sunken courtyard.
The Ziering Residence was planned with a concern for sustainability, and SPF:a approached the design with a priority to rely heavily on passive systems supplemented by technological means. Indoor temperature is regulated in a number of different natural ways: concrete floors and partially subterranean lower level create high-mass surfaces that optimize temperature conditions, roof mounted PV panels generate electricity and domestic hot water, and mechanical AC is limited to only the kitchen, master suite and study, and intended only to be used a few weeks per year.