Located approximately 10 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, this backyard intervention sits within a community of traditional suburban homes. Some of our initial interests grew out of looking to the existing home for points of interest, not as a vernacular, but rather as a way of rethinking conventions such as wood-frame construction, pitched roofs, drainage systems, and shading devices.
Built by our office over the course of a couple of months, the project is the result of a careful negotiation between a range of different programmatic, environmental, and tectonic conditions. One major objective of the project was to raise a portion of the roof significantly for an outdoor dining area, while still providing the necessary drainage and shade. As we increased the height of that section of the canopy, there were several resulting conditions that led to the more prominent design solutions.
The bright morning sun, combined with an unusual structural condition, led us to provide a wall of sculpted “fins” along the east side of the scheme. The southern side of the scheme, with its roof line ranging from 12 to 13 feet high, needed to fold downward in order to provide additional shade against the southern sun. The side adjacent to the house stopped just short of touching the existing soffit in order to allow for proper drainage off of the roof, and, as a result, a shading device was added. The wedge of space left between the upper and the lower canopy allowed the evening sun to slip between the two, which led to the soaring cantilever that provides the necessary shade from the evening sun.