Pugh + Scarpa
Nestled in a neighborhood of single story bungalows, on a 41x100 foot through lot, the Solar Umbrella addition transforms the architects' existing 650 square foot bungalow into a 1900 square foot residence equipped for responsible living in the twenty-first century.
Taking advantage of the unusual through lot site condition, the
addition shifts the residence 180 degrees from its original
orientation. What was formerly the front and main entry at the
north becomes the back as the new design reorganizes the residence
towards the south and optimizes exposure to the energy rich
Passive and active solar design strategies render the residence 100% energy neutral. Recycled, renewable, and high performance materials and products are specified throughout. Hardscape and landscape treatments are considered for their aesthetic and actual impact on the land.
A bold display of solar panels, wrapped around the south elevation and roof, becomes the defining, formal expression of the residence.
Conceived as a solar canopy, the panels protect the body of the
building from thermal heat gain by screening large portions of the
structure from direct exposure to the intense southern California
sun. Rather than deflecting sunlight, this state of the art solar
skin absorbs and transforms this rich resource into usable energy,
providing the residence with 100% of its electricity.
Inspired by the California Modernist tradition the exterior
spaces are conceived as outdoor rooms, blurring the transition
between inside and outside, and creating a more dynamic
relationship between the two.
A cast in place concrete pool provides a strong landscape
element and defines the path to the front entrance. At the entrance
the pool cascades into a lower tier of water that penetrates and
interlocks with the geometry and form of the residence. Stepping
stones immersed in the water reinvents the welcome mat. The
distinction between inside and outside is once again blurred.
By removing only one wall on the south side, maintaining the
original layout, the sizeable new addition ads a new entry, living
area, master suite, and utility room to the existing bungalow. The
old kitchen now opens into the large living area, facing the
spacious front yard, where an operable glass wall defines the edge
between interior and exterior.
Conceptually reminiscent of R.M. Schindler's Kings Road
Residence, this patio extends the bedroom area outdoors, creating
the sensation of a sleeping loft exposed to the exterior. The deep
porch carves out an exterior space within the visual bounds of the
building envelope and provides the front elevation with a
The dynamic composition of interlocking solids and voids add a richly layered depth to the design. Formal elements, stairs, bearing walls, structural columns, guard-rails, built-in furniture and cabinetry, vary in density, color and texture. A series of stepped roofs, glazed walls, and clerestory windows broadcast light from multiple directions.
Light and shadow, ephemeral and constantly changing effects,
become palpable formal tools that enliven the more permanent and
fixed elements of the design. Together, all of these components
establish an effectively layered composition rich in visual and
Facts about Solar Umbrella
Total area new addition:
Total area remodelled: 650 ft2
Lawrence Scarpa and Angela Brooks
Above Board Construction
Angela Brooks and Lawrence Scarpa
Last updated: December 19, 2013
North Adams, Massachusetts, USA
New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Seattle, Washington, USA