TOPANGA ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN
OUR FOCUS IS SUSTAINABLE, COMFORTABLE & RELAXED LIVING. CONTACT US TO DISCUSS YOUR PROJECT.Helping our clients develop sustainable homes, built both for natural living and comfortable enjoyment of that all their sites can offer. With all the limitless options available, why not design something special. Something to put a smile on your face each dayWe enjoy the process of designing for our clients’ use and pleasure while educating them on the myriad of options available. We can show you how some design features can elevate a project from common place to inspiring. As you can imagine we enjoy architecture and interior design and want your home to be special for you, your family and friends. With our experience we can help avoid the mistakes of poor construction details and missed opportunities. We deliver the best product while staying within your design and budget goals.
HOW WE APPROACH ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN
- We always consider the natural environment, site and orientation to make a space comfortable
- Maximize air flow and natural cooling elements to minimize the need for air conditioning
- Use of shade elements and weather protection with overhangs and screens
- Use of durable materials for low maintenance and lower life cycle costs
- Non-toxic environments a priority
- Our preference is to use recycled and sustainable materials
- Design and construction choices are maximized to reduce energy costs
- Focus on natural and sustainable landscaping
- Solar energy incorporated into design
- Water collection and greywater systems
- Focus on healthy, natural sun-lighting to minimize energy costs and increase your enjoyment of the space
The goals on this project were for the house to be fireproof, low maintenance, utilizing natural air flow and solar angles to minimize the use of heating and air conditioning. Room layouts and window placements were designed to take advantage the site’s breathtaking views.
The roof overhangs were built so that in the summer when the sun is high, no direct sunlight comes through the windows in the middle of the day, but in the winter the sun low in the sky comes in to heat up the concrete floors and keep the house comfortable.
The heavy construction acts as both a heat sink and insulator. When the temperature cools off at night it helps the house stay cool all day. Conversely, when it warms up during the day, the construction materials retain heat through the night.
The upper clerestory windows face north to let in diffuse light while avoiding direct glare and heat buildup from the sun. They also can be opened to allow the rising heat to escape and keep the house cool. This house rarely needs to run heating or air conditioning.
The exterior concrete blocks are dual celled with foam insulation. They are fireproof, provide an aesthetic exterior, have insulation, strong concrete and steel core strength, and a decorative interior face. They have been laid out in a designed pattern of different colors and finishes to add texture and scale to the house.
The other exterior material is a cementitious Hardie Board that is impervious to fire and requires painting about one-tenth as frequently as wood.
The layout was designed to have a pleasing flow and a defined front entry. As you approach the house there is no question of the entry location, your approach is intuitive. With a semi-circular driveway, there is an easy flow for cars, plenty of parking and simple exiting.