Águas de Março is a design for a residence in Venice California and part of the effort for cultural ecologies of XP& Architecture. Advanced technology and sustainable measures are employed to generate a cutting edge residential design for Southern California.
The residential project combines the transparency of the modern style case study houses with a second layer of adjustable exterior shading devices and cantilevered balconies that control the interior climate and serve as circulation measure. The building design is inspired by the song Águas de Março by Antonio Jobim and the wave of the Pacific Ocean in Venice Beach.
Project: 3,000 SF Residence
Location: Venice, California
Client: Hitoshi Inoue
Architect: XP& Architecture
Team: Judith K. Mussel, Seung Chul Song
Consultant: Alan Locke, IBE Consulting Engineers
The project offers a lot of square footage on a small footprint. The project has a usable area of 3000 sqft on a 2000 sqft lot and three stories plus one shaded roof terrace: 3 Bedrooms, 1 studio, four bathrooms, a loft style kitchen/dining/living room & a powder room. Every room has access to the exterior: either through a balcony or terraces.
The adjustable second skin is the primary design feature which negotiates the climate between the inside and the outside. This is a passive green design measure that doesn’t use any additional energy. During the summer months the shades block the sun while in winter the shallower angled sun rays are welcomed through the blinds. The shades are painted orange on the one side and are laminated with a reflective finish on the opposite side.
Natural air circulation is supported through the adjustable blinds. In addition to the shading device the project features sustainable design measures like adjustable natural ventilation, alternative energy generation, solar collectors for hot water generation and water preserving measures like reclaimed irrigation, native planting and pervious pavement.
Circulation is organized similar to traditional Japanese houses but in this case combined with a central staircase. As a result there are always two different circulation measures – exterior and interior - and every room is connected to the outside. Exterior circulation is infiltrated with double height spaces to enhance the spatial experience on an otherwise very compact floor plan layout. On the first floor you’ll find the garage and a loft space that could be used as a home office or an additional bedroom. The master bedroom is located on the second floor as well as two additional bedrooms and two bathrooms. The third floor is designed as an open loft with a kitchen and living area.
The core of the building is constructed with conventional steel construction, while the interior and exterior envelope uses Wood construction.