Contributing Monkie G Monkie
Published on October 12, 2009
Modern Green Ehrlich House in Santa Monica by John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects.
This 3,900 square foot house in Santa Monica tests the hypothesis that it is not necessary to sacrifice beauty for sustainability – that one can have both. Furthermore, it suggests that attentiveness to sustainability can inspire and elicit beauty where it might not be otherwise.
The house incorporates a number of passive and active green strategies, as well as a number of recycled and sustainably harvested materials. The structure’s openness and siting not only provide the sense of continuous space and connection to the garden that the client desired, but also allow sunlight and ocean breezes to warm and cool the house naturally. The koi pond cools the air before it enters the house; the concrete floor absorbs the sun’s heat, saving it to be released at night. Motorized skylights over the stair atrium draw warm air out of the house and also provide museum-quality lighting for the client’s art collection. A diagonal void carved through the house not only allows southern light to penetrate deep into the northern areas of the house, but also intensifies the abstract spatial qualities that are at the heart of the house’s aesthetic.