Venice, California has always been associated with the adjacent Pacific Ocean. This home, on a tight urban lot in Venice, is a reflection of its greater site condition with reminders of water designed into every area. Negative space is carved out of the dense building massing. An integral part of the house’s design, a 75’ long swimmers’ pool, is built into the foundation and runs the length of the site. The residence straddles, weaves, and hovers over the omnipresent body of water, experienced in various ways throughout the house. Below grade apertures in the foundation reveal the subaqueous relationship of the building to the water. Windows are located from the basement into the pool so one can view the swimmers from the interior, and diffused light penetrates the below grade spaces from the window.
Single Family Residence
3,200 sq ft
The manner in which the pool and the house interact blurs the distinction between exterior and interior. Faceted volume surfaces capture reflections, and strategically placed windows frame views to the landscape and the water. This home is an equal blend of nature (in the form of the vegetative roof garden and water) and the built form, with the pool uniting the two and locating the structure in a gray area where architecture and nature unite. The engagement of two opposing elements—solid in the form of the architecture and liquid in the form of the pool—is deliberately designed to make the experience of nature and architecture a seamless one. Because the building occupies the majority of the lot, the vegetative roof garden regains some of the landscape and is one of the sustainable features of the residence’s design. Others include a 5 kW rooftop solar photovoltaic array, a solar heating system for the pool and energy-efficient building systems. Environmentally sensitive materials are used throughout.