When owners Geoffrey Moore and Genie Gable commissioned Architects Shubin + Donaldson to design this three-level Residence located in âThe Rivieraâ area of Santa-Barbara in California, they had searched for more than a year to find a site that met their exacting and almost contradictory requirements.
Geoffrey Moore is an international businessman and writer who, when not traveling, splits his work time between a home office in Santa Barbara and a corporate office 85 miles south in Santa Monica.Â He wanted a shaded, quiet office space filled with cutting-edge technology for global communication where he could write without distraction.Â His wife is the principal of Genie Gable Interior Design, and a graduate of the Professional Design Program at UCLA. She sought sun-filled spaces with unimpeded views of the nearby Pacific Ocean and, at night, the city lights of Santa Barbara.
Although by Santa Barbara standards the home is relatively compactâMoore and Gable are empty-nestersâno space is wasted.Â âWe use every room every day,â she says, âand never tire of the constantly changing light from the ocean to the south, the canyon to the east and the mountains to the north.â
Though not immediately obvious, this house embraces several characteristics of environmentally sustainable design.Â The basic design strategy is to site the house based on solar orientation, resulting in passive solar gains throughout the year.Â Photovoltaic power generates household electricity through a 2.8kw system (when power is not needed, it feeds back into the grid).Â A passive roof-top solar heating system provides for domestic hot water and a passive solar ground-level hot-water system is used to heat the pool.
The natural flow of hot and cool air is fortified by the use of radiant hot-water floor heating and separate central air conditioning in the ceilings.Â Although these systems are in place, they are rarely used because of the solar orientation of the home and the natural ventilation.
The architects re-used the existing foundation and caissons.Â During construction, the existing house was taken apart piece-by-piece, with all usable elements donated to Habitat for Humanity.Â Other energy-saving systems include double-pane windows, UV-resistant glass, ample insulation, and energy-efficient appliances.Â Deep exterior overhangs are designed to provide shade in the summer, and let in sun during the winter.
A dramatic glass canopy ceremoniously marks the entrance to the home, bisecting the ground-to-roof planes of glass that form sidelights and clerestories.Â Throughout the house, walls intersect with glass in a play of solidity and transparency.Â There is a certain efficiency of design in the layout, yet it provides all of the amenities so that the house looks and feels like a five-star private residential club.Â By taking up minimal spaceâwhatâs absolutely necessary and no moreâthe house also takes up minimal resources.
A monumental feeling is emphasized by designing the house to constantly open up to the outdoors.Â A neutral color scheme complements the colors of nature that comprise the predominant palette.Â An infinity pool just outside the living room leads the eye to the ocean and the Channel Islands beyond.Â Four separate terraces surround the house, continuing the indoor/outdoor feeling and accessibility.
Each room affords great vistas as well as stunning natural light throughout the day.Â Large windows create frames for nature.Â Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves complement the mahogany living room wall that houses an entertainment center.Â Set into the wall, and surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass, it acts as an extension of the outdoors.Â Doorways in generalâeven in the limestone-clad bathroomsâare taller than usual and lead the eye upward to be rewarded by either natural light or a beautiful vista.Â Dark walnut floors and softly minimalist furniture are sophisticated and inviting.Â Bedrooms and master bath look out to the ocean.Â The kitchen faces the hillside, emphasizing how the house maintains a connection with nature.
Santa Barbara Riviera Residence, Credits:
Architect: Shubin + Donaldson Architects
Robin Donaldson, AIA, Principal
Russell Shubin, AIA, Principal
Project Team: Nils HammerbeckDaniel Webber, Kelly Kish, Allison White, Josh Blumer, Alan McLeod, David Van Hoy.
Interiors: Genie Gable Interior Design
Contractor: Quillin Construction
Landscape: Lane Goodkind
Photos: Ciro Coelho
Sofa; Chairs; Fabric; Coffee Table: Walter Knoll
Side Tables: Eileen Gray
Lighting/Lamps: ANTA Lighting
Flooring/Rugs: Decorative Carpets; Desalto
Window Coverings: Castec Shades
Art: Betsy Eby; Dennis Ekstrom; Bradford Stewart
Murano Glass: Ivan Baj
Fireplace Accessories: Wilshire Fireplace
Entry Table: Mirak
African Artifacts: ownersâ collection
Table: Molteni & C
Window Treatments: Castec Shades
Accessories: Marco Zanini
Fireplace Accessories: Wilshire Fireplace
African Artifacts: ownersâ collectionÂ
A special Thanks to Julie D. Taylor and Taylor & Company for their efforts to provide us the contents of this article.
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