Palisades House

(requires JavaScript and Flash 8 or higher.)

The Palisades Residence began as an investigation in adding a second floor to an existing 1,200 square foot, one-story bungalow with a small basement. The owners did not want to change the original floor plan as its design was functional for their needs, and instead wanted to retain much of what the house offered while adding the space they needed for their rapidly growing family. Another critical aspect of the project was to limit the size of the footprint so that the property and the neighboring houses are not overwhelmed by the new construction. The result is a vertically arranged plan on three levels: an expanded basement, the main floor, and the new second floor all conceived to take advantage of the ocean views and breezes, and to fulfill the needs of the owner's family.

The new house is compact in its massing, so that much of the yard is retained for outdoor use and to limit the proximity of the new second floor with respect to the neighboring houses. View corridors and open-sky spaces are retained for the adjacent properties to create a project that is a good neighbor and that would be well received by the neighborhood. The design is formally modern, but in a simple manner, foregoing architectural complexity for clarity.

The interiors are open not only horizontally, but also vertically. This concept creates interconnected spaces throughout the house allowing the skylights to maximize available natural light, but also allows the ocean breezes to flow from the basement and up through clerestory windows high over the stairs to create a passive ventilation system. Windows are designed to allow ventilation without sacrificing security. This idea of passive ventilation is a critical force in the overall design of the project.

The Palisades Residence is a carefully designed environment well suited for the needs of a modern family. The project responds to a long list of issues ranging from neighborhood planning to environmental design.