AN January 2021

Page 30


Residential Construction

Case Study

The Architect’s Newspaper

Architect: Montalba Architects Location: Santa Monica, California

Sink basins, garbage disposal, and kitchen accessories: Franke Doors and windows: Vitrocsa Concrete panels and planter cladding: Swisspearl Roofing: Sika Sarnafil Stone: Hullebusch Wood floors: Dinesen Door hardware: FSB Lighting controls and shades: Lutron Lighting: No. 8 Entry intercom systems: Siedle Modular storage and shelving: USM Kitchen furniture: Bulthaup Lighting fixtures: Santa & Cole

laid-back lifestyle. Designed by Montalba Architects as the home for its founding principal, David Montalba, the house features expansive glazing and a stepped courtyard that stitches together the residence’s three levels. Sandblasted concrete footings and walls in the part-basement and ground-floor openplan living areas support a hovering stucco volume that contains bedrooms and an office. Louvered timber screens on the second floor allow treetop views and enable air to flow through operable Vitrocsa windows while maintaining shade, privacy, and security. The project’s massing facilitates sustainable strategies, including “cross ventilation over the footprint of the home and evaporative cooling from the strategically sited pool,” Montalba said. Such measures are aided by native vegetation, like a retained old-growth avocado tree and two newly planted California oaks, that provides shading, and rain-

water collection systems to minimize water consumption. A radiant heating and cooling system also eliminates the need for a forced air system and reduces the risk of allergens and pollutants in the home. The interiors feature a warm palette of Hullebusch stone, concrete, wood, and soft white walls. White oak in varying textures, including flat matte and a raked corrugated finish, echoes the timber fins and cladding on the home’s exterior. A timber stairway connects the living quarters to the private spaces on the first floor, and its open risers let light stream through to the levels below. The project’s materials, Montalba said, “are natural, durable, yet contrast in their relation to one another to balance the crispness of the architectural concrete with the softer, warmer edges of the wood and a California lifestyle.” Amrita Raja

Vertical Courtyard House Structural engineer: The Office of Gordon L. Polon MEP engineer: PBS Engineers Lighting designer: Sean O’Connor Lighting Landscape designer: Elysian Landscapes Waterproofing consultant: Roofing & Waterproofing Forensics Contractor: Sarlan Builders Surveyor: M&M & Co. Title 24 consultant: Newton Energy Soils engineer: Grover-Hollingsworth and Associates Civil engineer: Wynn Engineering Kitchen appliances: Gaggenau Toilets: Duravit Cabinetry, millwork, and doors: Wider SA Bathroom plumbing fixtures: VOLA Kitchen faucets: MGS

Vertical Courtyard House, a 5,450-square-foot single-family residence in Southern California’s Santa Monica Canyon, dissolves boundaries between interior and exterior, taking advantage of the region’s warm climate and




Top left: Operable walls and timber fins help create a gentle connection to the outdoors. Bottom left: The house’s namesake courtyard brings light deep into the building. Top right: VOLA plumbing fixtures help create a streamlined but humane environment. Right: Multiple sustainable strategies aim to lighten the building’s effect on the environment.


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