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Santa Barbara Residence

Santa Barbara, California

Area: 11,000 SF

The first client brief was to "build a unique house" on this 215 acre property. Armed with the notion, an ambitious scheme was conceived that was contemporary to its core.


The primary residence is at the southern end of the overall hierarchy of space organization with the meditation center at the northern end perched at the highest elevation. The "pilgrimage route" from the residence to the meditation center traverses through the Office/Guest Suite.


The residence is organized around an axis that runs north-south beginning at the carport and terminating at the bedroom wing to the north. The four-car port, at the lowest elevation, leads through an elevator and a flight of steps to the next level of living spaces. The living room, dining room, kitchen and bar are shielded visually by the wide overhangs of the master suite and den overhead. The living and dining rooms are transparent pavilions enclosed by planes of insulated glazing, allowing wide expanses of framed views beyond. The angled sandwich metal roof panels rise above the row of tube columns supporting it. The roof is clear of any interior walls, which stop short of meeting the roofline. The master bedroom suite has a commanding view of the ocean to the south further enhanced with a walk out terrace that protrudes beyond the dining space below. The family room forms the focus of the spatial hierarchy forging a link between the formal living/dining, master bedroom suite to the south with the children's bedrooms and the recreation areas to the north. The importance of the family room is acknowledged by the cylindrical geometry that symbolizes intimacy and stability. Within the family room is a raised observation platform that is crowned by an asymmetrical skylight. A telescope on this raised platform will allow explorations of the night sky.


A wedge of continuous skylight that forms an atrium for the children's bedrooms, study and activity rooms slices the northern wing.


The office and guest suite are physically separated from the main residence. The meditation area sits atop at the highest elevation as a termination point of the building hierarchy.


The underlying theme is an industrial aesthetic with materials that include pre-formed metal panels, metal gratings, nautical steel cables and cement board.


In it's aerial view the house is akin to a bird perched atop the cliff ready for flight.

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