CaBoom opened today and I took the 11:15am tour of 5 houses in Santa Monica. My favorite was Ray Kappe’s magnificent new LivingHome project.. The level of craft was spectacular and I never would have known it was significantly prefabricated. It was assembled on-site in about 8 hours on April 13, 2006. There’s a great video tour by Steve Glen, the CEO of LivingHomes (who also happens to live in this first prototype). Listen to the entire tour and you’ll not only enjoy Steve’s great sense of humor – but learn a lot. Click on the small green targets that appear on the photo images and you’ll get even more cool info. So, while this was my favorite project of the day, I enjoyed aspects of some of the other houses.
The house done by Chun Studios (for the Architects parents), was notable in its use of the landscape. Chun’s father is quite the landscaper and has developed a beautiful Asian garden in the rear of the house that almost made me cry. While I don’t have a photograph of that space to share, trust me, it’s that good. Nearly every room of the home looks out onto some garden and has access to a deck or garden of its own. My only complaint is the decking material had what appeared like an opaque stain on it which seemed dull and artificial.
Finally, the Beltcher Residence by Warren Wagner, AIA of W3 Architects which was completed this past week, was so pleasurable, that I walked through the house twice. Warren’s background includes working with Ed Mazria who inspired me with his work for Architecture 2030. Warren is so “green” that he makes Kermit blush. Nonetheless, this simple house was not only environmentally smart – but elegant. Every surface was carefully considered and the palette of materials sumptuous.