toluca lake

project description:

new 4300sf, 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom house

year built: 2001

This ground-up house uses the spatial layering of courtyards, landscape, and translucent garden walls to foster a strong relationship with the exterior while maintaining a feeling of privacy throughout. Built on an eight-thousand square foot corner lot, the house is quite exposed to the neighborhood, but it capitalizes on courtyards and roof decks to achieve a feeling of solitude and seclusion. The strategic use of windows and sliding doors captures light when it is needed and provides a connection to the exterior when it is wanted.


The entire house has a kind of "treehouse" feel, as it capitalizes on cross-breezes and views out into greenery. The three lower bedrooms each have their own yard access doors, located directly across the hall from each room. All the living spaces on the first floor are designed to be self-cooling, so that the temperature of the house can be controlled simply by opening or closing the windows. The roof's overhangs help this concept, along with a six-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array that generates electricity on site. The roof deck off the nursery/ gym on the second floor adds to the natural feeling of the house, with a large raised planter of grass. Within the roof deck is a skylight providing natural light to the bathroom on the first floor below, but with plantings surrounding it for privacy.



The axial alignment of windows, doors, and other openings has the added benefit of creating multiple views through the house, adding to the sense of spatial openness.

The scope of this project included landscape design, which provided an opportunity to maximize the integration of interior and exterior spaces.









floor plans