Thursday, August 04, 2005

Modern Design At Its Best

Land + Living has been running a series of fantastic pieces about this year's CA BOOM II, a modern design conference and home tour of the best in SoCal contemporary design - yet another reason why this is becoming one of my favorite architecture and design sites on the web.

Today they are featuring the McKinley Residence, the breathtaking home of architect David Hertz. The house is truly spectacular and represents everything I like about modern design. Instead of being a "modern" large, sparse, white box, the house is a warm combination of indoor/outdoor spaces that is intelligently designed to be open, airy, bright and comfortable.

The house is made up of a series of volumes connected by lush, landscaped courtyards and glass enclosed bridges. Huge sliding glass doors, windows and skylights flood the space with light, while the layout of the house itself seems to provide plenty of open, shady areas that allow you to cool out peacefully.

And the house is extremely environmentally friendly - with solar hot water and radiant heating and cooling systems, natural ventilation from skylights and windows that automatically open and close to regulate the temperature, and solar panels for generating electricity for the house.

But the beauty is also in the details, like this finger-jointed staircase and exposed shower. There are several little touches like this throughout the house that make it even more impressive in my book. Hertz particularly does some interesting stuff with concrete, as he developed his own type of lightweight precast concrete called Syndecrete.

And finally, the landscaping is perfect. Combined with the courtyard layout and the overhanging roof and balconies, it really gives the house a tropical modern feel - which is what I think I'm most drawn to about the project.

All of these photos are from the Land + Living gallery, so a big thank you to them for providing so much detail about one of the most exciting residential projects I've seen since I became interested in design. Head on over to their gallery for even more detailed photos.

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