The West Coast has long attracted famed architects from around the world. There’s no wonder LA is filled with Gehry’s, Wright’s, and Meier’s. Now, a new generation of talented architects are changing the way we see homes. These innovative artists create structures that integrate into the surrounding area, are eco-friendly, and are transformative living spaces that fit our modern lifestyles. These are some of the most exciting projects by some of the best modern architects, happening right here along the Pacific.
If you’ve ever wanted to live like a Hobbit and dwell in the side of a hill, this home will achieve that dream. The entire Pepper Hill residence occurs underneath a continuous Green Roof garden that seamlessly blends with the site. This construction allows for a viewing deck with 360-degree views of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding hills in Santa Barbara. It’s super energy efficient (one of Shubin Donaldson’s signature design aspects) and practically disappears into its surroundings. It’s a seriously cool way to imagine living. It’s currently under development for a specific client, but hey, maybe you can get invited to one of their parties.
If living underground isn’t your thing, how about living up in a treehouse. The nine cabins are built in intricate shapes to weave among the slender, slow-growing trees and connected by sloping walkways. The roof is made of two layers of treated Army green canvas and tied down with rope, to enjoy the entrancing sound of falling raindrops. You might not even spot this house nestled among the trees.
Thanks to Portlandia, Portland, OR still has it’s “hippie” reputation. And this new cluster of homes isn’t changing it, but making it a desirable way to live. Cully Grove just won the 2017 Housing Award from the American Institute of Architects. It includes 16 eco-friendly homes built around courtyards, gardens, and fields for kids to play in. The centerpiece is a common house for shared meals, social gatherings, music, movie nights, or hosting out-of-town guests. Call it a modern commune, but the sense of community that this type of development promotes allows us to get back to our roots, grow our own food, and connect with our neighbors!
How do you build an eco-friendly home into a narrow lot, and still maintain the ocean views? Challenge accepted by Shubin Donaldson. This residence in Santa Barbara, and surrounded almost entirely by windows and skylights. They are opened during the day so the home can be naturally cooled by the sea breezes and naturally lit as well. It won the 2017 AIA|LA Residential Architecture Award for its integration of indoor/outdoor spaces and environmentally friendly construction.
This house is so cool, I had to go outside of the West Coast. It’s built to blend in with the other Long Island residences that surround it, but with contemporary twists abound. It consists of four distinct structures, connected by interior passageways. Much of the walls are windows that seamlessly open up to the courtyards and a spacious backyard, for indoor/outdoor transitions perfect for entertaining. One of my favorite parts is the two islands in the kitchen one is stationary while the other is on rollers.
The modern age of architecture is exciting, and cool new buildings are popping up around Los Angeles and beyond. What would you love to have in your new-built dream home?