Santa Monica, California

San Vicente Boulevard in Santa Monica, California, has long served as a haven for runners who glide along the street, shaded by leafy coral trees and cooled by an ocean breeze. In its design of the San Vicente Residence, Pugh + Scarpa aspired to create a similar sense of movement.

The project was commissioned by a couple who owns a home-based recording business. The structure is composed of two stacked, irregularly shaped parallelograms topped by an undulating roof that provides optimal acoustics inside. The upper volume boldly cantilevers out over the street and is separated from the lower volume by a band of clerestory windows, producing a floating effect. Four ribbons of perforated metal twist around the upper level; it appears they are pinched and squeezed as if they were made of fabric, not metal.

Inside, the dining room and kitchen are adjacent to a dramatic, two-story high living room, while an office, guest bedroom, and two bathrooms are placed deeper within the first floor. The upper level contains a master suite and an office.

The project continues Pugh + Scarpa’s commitment to sustainable design. The perforated metal skin, clerestory panels, and operable skylights facilitate cross ventilation, eliminating the need for air conditioning, the architects say. Photovoltaic panels on the roof generate enough power to meet nearly all of the home’s energy needs. Eco-friendly finishes include countertops made of recycled material and bamboo flooring. Additionally, the lower portion of the street-facing façade is clad in blocks of recycled aluminum cans. It’s a highly visible “green” statement, and a colorful one at that.