ARCHITECTURE | Hybrid House for a Briard


If you’re in the Los Angeles area this March 14-16 weekend and love modern design and architecture, don’t miss the 5th annual Caboom Show: the largest showcase of independent, contemporary design on the West Coast. On the list of special home tours includes one project particularly close to my heart and had the opportunity to work on: the Residence for a Briard designed by Sander Architects.

Three years ago, the clients Thomas Small and Joanna Brody threw down a gauntlet: to build the greenest house that had ever come out of the Sander practice. They wanted a house that was modern, green, and Briard-friendly (a very, very, large dog).

On a very tight budget. The challenge called for innovations on many fronts: beginning with the use of prefab components for the frame of the house, to our experimentation with materials. Insulation made from recycled denim jeans, wall boards made from sunflower seeds — surprisingly gorgeous enough to leave exposed sans paint. We had even talked about using cheap red wine to stain the concrete floors.

Whitney Sander, the principal, found his design inspiration from a painting by George Braque. I remember in my second week of work, being sent off to research Venturi roofs (to promote “natural” A/C) and every possible green product under the sun. It was the crash course of a lifetime — and was in part, the foundation of knowledge I used for the birth of Fabulously Green (thanks Whitney, Catherine, Thomas and Joanna).

Green Strategies and Materials:

  • greywater system (for capturing used water and reusing it for landscape irrigation)
  • passive heating and cooling strategies
  • a cistern to capture rainwater for watering landscaping
  • recycled denim insulation, bamboo flooring, Marmoleum, structural steel frames from recycled steel

To see the house in person, sign up for the Saturday Westside House Tour. Maybe I’ll see you there!

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One Response to “ARCHITECTURE | Hybrid House for a Briard

  1. Great article. hope to come back again soon

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