Projects   Project Portfolio - Unbuilt Houses 2002
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Solar Umbrella
Venice, Calif.
Pugh + Scarpa

Sustainable materials, energy, and forms convey a green message

For more photos click on 'photos & drawings' above.

Inspired by Paul Rudolph’s Umbrella House and Heyward Apartments of 1953, this house demonstrates a new approach towards modern regionalism. Passive and active solar design strategies render the residence 100% independent from the "grid." Recycled, renewable, and high performance materials and products are specified throughout.

Taking advantage of the unusual through-lot site condition, the addition shifts the residence 180 degrees from its original orientation. What was formerly the front and main entry becomes the back as the new design reorganizes the residence towards the south, optimizing exposure to direct sunlight. The solar canopy protects the building from thermal heat gain by screening large portions of the structure from direct sunlight. Rather than deflecting sunlight, the photovoltaic skin absorbs and transforms the sun into usable energy, providing the residence with its electricity.

Materials are contextually repositioned as design elements. Homosote, made from recycled newspaper, is used as a finish material for walls. Oriented strand board, composed of leftover wood chips, becomes the primary flooring material where concrete is not used. Recycled steel panels, solar powered in-floor radiant heating, high efficiency appliances and fixtures, and low v.o.c. paint replace less efficient materials. Decomposed granite and gravel hardscape are used in place of concrete or stone. Unlike their impervious alternatives, these materials allow the ground to absorb water and in turn, mitigate urban run-off to the ocean.

Solar panels define the envelope, and provide shelter and deep porches that carve out exterior space within the visual bounds of the building. A cast-in-place concrete pool provides a strong landscape element and defines the path to the front entry. In a move that reinvents the welcome mat, stepping stones immersed in the water create an initiatory rite of passage into the residence as the visitor is invited to walk across water.

Formal name of building:
Solar Umbrella

Venice, Calif.

Gross Square Footage:
750 sq. ft. (existing) 1200 sq. ft. (new)

Total Construction Cost:

Lawrence Scarpa and Angela Brooks

Angela Brooks & Lawrence Scarpa of Pugh + Scarpa
Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Ave, F1
Santa Monica, Ca 90404
Tel. 310-828-0226 x13
fax 310-453-9696

Project Team:
Angela Brooks, AIA + Lawrence Scarpa, AIA Principals-in-Charge; Ching Luk, Project Architect; Peter Borrego, Angela Brooks, Anne Burke, Michael Hannah, Vanessa Hardy, Anne Marie Kaufman Brunner, Fredrik Niilsen, Tim Peterson, Gwynne Pugh, Bill Sarnecky, Lawrence Scarpa, - Project Design Team.

Front row, from the left: Angela Brooks, Vanessa Hardy, Anne Marie Burke, Bill Sarnecky, Anne Marie Kaufman Brunner, Second and third row, from left: Paola Pvezzulli, Lu Santostefano, Tim Petersen, Silke Clemens, Lawrence Scarpa, Fredrik Niilson, Gwynne Pugh, Ching Luk, Peter Borrego.

Interior Designer:
Lawrence Scarpa and Angela Brooks

Structural Engineer:
Gwynne Pugh of Pugh + Scarpa

Consultant - Energy Efficiency and Alternative Energy consultant:
Dr. John Ingersoll, PHD

General Contractor:
Tom Hinerfeld of Hinerfeld Ward, Inc.

Marvin Rand

Fredrik Niilsen, Ching Luk, Bill Sarnecky and Lawrence Scarpa

CAD system, project management, or other software used:
PowerCadd, FormZ



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