Olympic Place Courtyard House
Olympic Place Courtyard House uses an L-shaped typology to create a structure that integrates elements of its cultural context, site, and program into a warm and inviting home for the family that lives there. The L-shape of the house was driven by the location of the existing trees and opportunities for harvesting natural daylight, and was embraced because of the transparency it offered when circulation was pulled to the inner courtyard edge of the house. Overhangs along the courtyard are sized to allow for passive daylight, taking advantage of the site’s southern exposure.
The courtyard-facing circulation axes are punctuated at their intersection by a three-story space at the heart of the home. A stair wraps around this opening and enables the stack-effect to pull warm air up and out of the house through operable windows at the top. The fireplace is another strong organizing element, rising from the foundation all the way through the cantilevered roof opening.
Stucco, cypress siding, and glass are the predominant materials. Stucco is used to emphasize the weight of the home’s plinth and glass wraps around the main level of the house to allow the cypress-wrapped volumes to float above. Interior walls are pulled through each level to keep the facade open and the interior spaces legible and consistent through the transparent skin.
In addition to the passive sustainable design strategies described above, a geothermal heat-pump system provides air at stable temperatures, minimizing the energy required to heat and cool the home.