Casa per Amici

Santa Monica, California

Casa per Amici

Perched at the top of a narrow sloping parcel overlooking the Santa Monica mountains to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south, this new 7200sf single family residence turns the site’s apparent limitations into the design catalysts that ultimately define the home’s organizational framework. Embracing the verticality of the site helped script the story and accommodate an ambitious program.

Steeply sloping terrain often limits a property’s developable area, but in this case it proved advantageous, encouraging the house to step down multiple levels. This maximized each level’s exposure to the spectacular view and provided the space necessary to engage the pool into the architecture. Elevating the pool to the entry level and splitting the basement level below allowed the two lower guest suites to slip underneath and open towards the ocean. Flanked by the guest suites on either side, a covered courtyard and fire pit connect all the lower spaces and is bridged by the floating glass bottom pool above. A flood of vibrant, kinetic light pierces through the pool’s glass bottom skylight, brightening the covered courtyard and reaching the full depth of the split interior space within.

Throughout the home, contrasting elements of robust steel and refined wood are woven together resulting in a timeless and layered aesthetic. This blending of industrial loft vernacular and California modern taps into the clients’ collective nostalgia for their Brooklyn roots and their love of the outdoors. One example of this can be seen immediately upon entering the home where smooth rift cut white oak ceiling panels are strategically cut away to reveal a patina’d structure of steel beams and rough sawn timbers that float above the kitchen, dining, and living areas of the expansive open plan. These glimpses of an implied past are ambient notions, like memories, that help create a delicate yet complex balance of scale, warmth and texture throughout the home.

The entry also reveals a seamless, uncoiled steel and wood curving stair that rises from the floor of the basement up through to the second floor master suite in one fluid motion. It is immediately evident that this is the backbone of the home and, much like the pool, it anchors and connects all levels visually and physically. Each interior space effortlessly flows into the next resulting in layered, overlapping cinematic experiences.

In the master suite, a similar vocabulary defines the space. The curved underside of a butterfly roof floats above the bedroom and bathrooms further enhancing the verticality of the home while also providing ample natural lighting and ventilation. The entire suite opens towards the view of the ocean, inviting a brilliantly unique spectrum of changing light and salt sweet air into the home.

This home is a reflection of the owner; technologically savvy, yet timeless and layered in complexity. An unassuming and humble character on the surface that holds nothing back once engaged.

Interior Designer: Barta Interiors
Photo Credit: Jeremy Bittermann