Yin Yang House
Capitalizing on southern California's climate, Brooks + Scarpa's house for a growing family gives the phrase 'Go outside!' new meaning, with seamless indoor-outdoor spaces.
Architects & Firms
Larry Scarpa grew up in Florida, where the heat and humidity kept him indoors. “In Southern California, however, living outside is easy to do,” says the architect, whose firm Brooks + Scarpa is based in Los Angeles. “Now I can’t get away from imposing my desire on others.” Recent beneficiaries of his imposition include a couple whose young children are friends with Scarpa’s son. The family was living on a cramped lot on one of the canals in nearby Venice, but they gave up this otherwise desirable waterfront location for a Scarpa-designed, net zero energy, 4,700-square-foot house and roomy backyard elsewhere in the seaside district.
The bedrooms exit onto a bamboo deck and bleacher stairs, allowing children to bypass the rest of the house on their way inside or out. “I know from having a young kid of my own that you’re always screaming, ‘Inside or outside!’” says Scarpa. To visually unify the house, the architect defined horizontal and vertical edges with a steel band that winds without interruption around the exterior. “It pulls all the pieces together, a continuous squiggle,” says Scarpa.
Formal name of building: Yin-Yang House
Location: Venice, CA
Completion Date: 2011
Gross square footage: 4,700
Total construction cost: 1.7 million
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Ching Luk, Emily Hodgdon
General contractor: Glenn Lyons Construction
Metal Panels: Natural oxidized cold rolled recycled steel
Concrete panels: Recycled Portland Cement Exterior Cement Plaster with integral finish
Windows: Fleetwood, US Aluminum Corporation
Concrete: Type ll Portland Cement with 25% flyash, LM Scofield Lithochrome stain
Wood: Composite floor truss joists by Weyerhaeuser, Micro-lam and parallam composite beams by Truss Joist Corporation, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified bamboo flooring, cabinets, and structural wood.
Flashing: Celotex, GAF corporation, Grefco, APOC
Skylights: Bristolite, Solatube International, Inc.
Paneling: Recycled Formaldehyde free MDF, Recycled-Content Gypsum Board with 31% recycled content (26% post consumer waste), Dens-Glass Gold by Georgia-Pacific
Floor and wall tile: Ecotile by Walker Zanger
Resilient flooring: Ecotile by Walker Zanger, concrete and FSC certified bamboo
Dimming System or other lighting controls: Lutron