Pasadena, CA

WALKER RESIDENCE. This new house is on a one acre gently sloping lot in the foothills of Pasadena. A heritage oak tree and 8 other oaks presented obstructions to design around as well as developing distant view channels.

The special challenge of this project was to convince the client to build a contemporary house when they wanted a Spanish eclectic style. They love this house. They also wanted an efficient sustainable house to include a 11.34 KW solar electrical system, and use sustainable sourced building materials.

The open courtyard floor plan acknowledges 2 oak trees and articulates its way around the site exposing interior spaces to views in every direction. The house is completely transparent. The entry foyer separates the guest wing from the resident’s wing creating privacy. The Great Room opens into the site and the entertainment courtyard. The Dining Room and Wine Cellar open to a private dining patio with fireplace and views of the San Gabriel Mountains.

The Children’s Rooms and the Sports Room open to a paddle court that can be active and private when adults are entertaining in the courtyard. The Sports Room completely opens to the west and east yards with sliding glass wall systems. The Master Suite, Office, and adjoining Gym/ Ballet Studio occupy the second floor and offer 360 degree views of the San Gabriel Mountains, Los Angeles and the Coastline.

The design is an exposed structural post and beam concept where all structural elements are visible. Exposed steel tube bracing was designed for shear, eliminating conventional shear walls and increasing windows and views. Vertical wall planes of plaster, wood, and concrete block segment the floor plan uses. The courtyard with fireplace is the exterior entertainment space that the house opens onto and includes a barbeque, bar, and a Jacuzzi that is backlit from the Great Room’s glass-walled fireplace.

The roof framing was constructed from the inside up starting with major beams, secondary beams, 4x8 rafters and Douglas fir ceiling planks placed in order, and then 2x14 insulated ceiling cavity and rigid foam sloped roof last. The stacked ceiling framing and beam geometry of various heights define the different uses of the open plan design. This is a different contemporary house – it is not all white. Day or night this house radiates warmth. The house uses the same building materials on the interior and exterior creating transparency between inside and outside.

Materials used in and out are black transparent stained structural Douglas fir posts and beams, oiled Douglas fir ceilings, oiled Western red cedar walls, 4x16 concrete block, poured-in-place concrete walls, galvanized panels, aluminum grating, steel windows in black and red, concrete tiles and fossil stone from Turkey.

American Institute of Architects

San Fernando Valley
Design Award 2014

American Institute of Architects

Pasadena & Foothill Chapter
Merit Award 2016

Dwell On Design

International Conference Home Tour
Los Angeles, CA. 2015