Skyline Residence on a Hilltop in Santa Barbara / ShubinDonaldson

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Skyline Residence on a Hilltop in Santa Barbara

This modern home is a 3-story 3 bedroom 2500 square foot residence designed by ShubinDonaldson on a hilltop in Santa Barbara, California. The site is an up sloping wedge shaped piece of land on a narrow lot. The Skyline Residence is designed for a young family with 2 children. The owner is an industrial designer intent on creating a home consistent with his design values: modern, functional and efficient yet comfortable. Also, his desire was to create a home with a limited palette of materials ultra responsive to the site constraints and view opportunities. The site provides 270-degree ocean and mountain views that the owner wanted to optimize. The home is an upside down home with the main living level on the top floor. Fully utilizing the site, the main living areas sits on the top 3rd floor with panoramic Pacific Ocean views looking south and west. The bedrooms sit on the 2nd floor and the service areas like garage and laundry bury into the ground floor.

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The main challenge was to “wedge” this home into a narrow complex shape of constraints and opportunities provided by the hillside site, zoning requirements and neighborhood context. These constraints resulted in a unique formal solution deploying a concrete and steel structural frame to maximize the formal responsiveness of the structure.

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Due to the complexity of the form, the material palette for the home was limited to wood, cast concrete, steel and glass. The Skyline Residence has a central stair that cuts up through the home with a skylight above that allows daylight to penetrate the home and light it from within.

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Environmentally, the home is cooled passively by ocean breezes, lit evenly during the day by daylight, and Ipe wood screens minimize sun load on the extensive view windows.

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The benign climate encourages an indoor-outdoor living style and the home flows onto strategically placed outdoor patios for outdoor living. Every square foot of this small site is used as living area, whether indoors or out.

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The client, an industrial designer with a young family, desired a thorough design process and a carefully detailed design. He came to SD knowing that our design values were in sync and this stunning home is the result of a very productive and satisfying client/architect relationship.

Architects: ShubinDonaldson
Project: Skyline Residence
Partners In Charge: Robin Donaldson, AIA
Principals In Charge: Sieglinde Pukke, AIA, LEED AP
Project Architects: Robin Donaldson, AIA; Liz Hughes
Project Team: Liz Hughes, Kimberly Briolini, Kevin Moore
Location: Santa barbara, California, US
Area: 2500 square foot
Photography: Jeremy Bittermann

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