A Windsurfer's Abode - Coastal Chili

One of the funnest aspects of architecture is how truly unique each project really is.  Take for example this custom home designed for a client with a passion for windsurfing.

When imagining a beachfront residence, it is common to focus on the ocean views. The experience of sitting in ones home, while watching the seasons change as the sun sets at an ever changing latitude, is without a doubt, universally delightful. Delightful, yet passive. This beachfront residence was designed to transform this passive experience into one of action. By capturing the essence of its location with precisely framed views, this building not only inspires, it also facilitates this action. In particular that of the owner's passion of windsurfing.

This residence was designed with a very unique set of parameters, focusing in on the Clients passion for windsurfing.  While the coastal Chili lot was chosen for its proximity to the Client’s favorite surf spot, the house was designed to enhance that connection, both visually and functionally.

The views

The obvious first task was to orient the building on the lot in such a way as to focus as much of the living space as possible toward the desired view.  This includes the orientation of the building, but also drove the overall shape and interior layout of the space.  The overall shape quickly formed into that of a long linear building allowing the interior layout to have essentially all of the main living spaces along the “front” of the building, toward the views, and circulation spaces running along the “back” of the building.  All living spacesare located on the second level and the location and height of the windows on the west facing walls were placed to achieve a height high enough to see across the intermediary dunes, for visual access to breaking waves beyond.

The garage height

Less intuitive to claiming the views was the functionality of the building. While the height of the second floor windows were designed to sweep your eye past the adjacent dune, the height of the second floor comes into play in another way.  To facilitate the transport of his windsurfing equipment, a custom garage height was determined. He can easily drive his vehicle with equipment attached to the roof right into the . The garage itself is sized for the safe storage of his gear, and it is readily available to easily load up and hit the beach. 

Interior light

Windows across the eastern master bedroom wall captures the morning sunlight, which alludes to a natural wakeup call to go check the surf.  

This building was designed as a catalyst for action. The views, the height of the second floor, the angle of the residence on the site, and the equipment storage area are all tangible evidence of the buildings' ability to seamlessly encourage the owner's passion.

Adaptive Re-use in Custer City, Oklahoma

re-use = recycle

adaptive = unique & creative

Adaptive re-use is the re-purposing of an existing building for a new use other than its original intended purpose.  This term generally implies re-use of old or abandoned buildings, and often within areas or communities that are experiencing a downtrend in building, or the communities and areas themselves are abandoned or neglected.  Adaptive re-use is oftentimes associated with infill (either urban or suburban), urban sprawl (prevention), and historic preservation.  All of the above terms are integral to shifting, and sometimes controversial, community planning styles and their merits are much debated.  

Despite sometimes being emotionally and politically charged terms, Adaptive Re-use is at its core - the ultimate in recycling.  By re-use of a building and space we are extending the lifecycle of that building and the materials and resources that the building embodies.

The challenges that recycling a building create tend to lead directly to the features that make the new spaces and new use unique, exciting, and beautiful.  The process of adapting a building from its original program to a new use, requires utilizing shapes, spaces, volume, and materials that one would not typically experience in projects designed and built using current traditional methods and materials associated with such uses.

Small downtown Custer City, Oklahoma, current population under 400 people is your quintessential small-town, USA. In this Custer City, Oklahoma adaptive re-use we have taken a building that was originally a typical brick and mortar, downtown main street retail store and designed a loft style one bedroom residence.  Retail stores of this type are narrow, long and linear, open access at front and back with no openings to either side, single story and with relatively high ceilings.  One challenge of this project was to bring natural light into the interior, and to connect the exterior uncovered patios with the living spaces.  To accomplish this, the rooms are designed around a corridor of light from the front entry to the rear patio creating a view through the space and a feeling of openness. Further, by maximizing window and doors in the front opening, and an open design layout for Living Room, Kitchen and Dining we are able to take full advantage of natural light into these spaces.  Additionally, to enhance the draw through the spaces, we created a direct view from the front entrance through to the back access.  This viewpoint serves as circulation the primary circulation hall.  To avoid enhancing the hall appearance we have created intermediary spaces along the hall that open up into usable spaces such as utility/mud room.

By preserving and exposing the original brick walls, there is an honesty in materials that provides a backdrop of rich color, texture, and character to the otherwise refined finishes and interior environment, while at the same time respecting the buildings retail past.

Botanical Gardens

Under construction is the Fire Safety Pergola at the San Luis Obispo Botanical Gardens. This was in collaboration with Semmes and Co.

Click here for photos of the completed Fire Safety Pergola