The Black Box is designed in the Scandinavian tradition with an earthy palette of natural materials. The supple dark volume consisting of a 14-foot cube provides a contrasting backdrop for the existing magnolia blossoms and white birch branches on site. Due to the modest scale of the building, the volumetric design is a study in restraint. The versatile interior functions as a living, sleeping, and work area. As a consequence of its relatively small size, livable space is at a premium. Orthogonal geometry, economy of means, and precise proportions work in tandem to maximize space. To accommodate multiple functions, built-ins are employed as key elements of the design.


Santa Monica, CA


Single Family Residence


400 sq ft


Completed 2006


National AIA Award

Published, Detail Magazine

Building components were selected from those readily available or recycled. The building envelope is created from vertical wood siding mounted over asphalt roof shingles. The wood siding is protected with a sooty, burnt tar stain. The brooding, dark exterior and the blonde interior stand in stark contrast to one another. Interior surfaces are a series of horizontal bands comprising wood applications. The shifting horizontal zones define the penetrations in the building and accommodate built-in amenities. The siding and deck are made of recycled wood. Windows are made with steel angles, and perforated steel screens enclose the building for privacy. 

© Tighe Architecture 2021

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