Montecito Residence

Montecito Residence

Architect
Olson Kundig
Location
Montecito, United States
Category
Private Houses
Nikolas Koenig

Montecito Residence

Olson Kundig as Architects

The Montecito Residence is a single-family home set in fire-prone Toro Canyon near Santa Barbara. The owners wanted a house that minimized the use of scarce natural resources and that was equal to the challenging environmental conditions of the site. The design solution was to harvest and control the very climatic conditions that put the canyon so at risk for fire: the sun and the wind.


The house is made of simple, fire-resistant materials: concrete, steel, and glass. Exterior perforated metal screens on the west side of the house can be lowered to provide shade or additional fire protection. The steel of the siding and roof is allowed to oxidize, and the concrete is toned so that the house blends into the canyon landscape.


Upswept roof forms at the entrance and over the primary living spaces give the house its distinctive profile, while channeling rainwater for use on site. The roof functions as an umbrella to shield the house from the sun, while the one-hundred-foot-long central hallway allows naturally cool offshore breezes to circulate.


The owners acquired the site because of the dramatic ocean and mountain views and the privacy afforded by the 10-acre site. The design was a direct response to the site conditions, both the challenges and the opportunities. - Tom Kundig Design Principal


The front door, a tall Dutch door, lets fresh air in while maintaining privacy. A system of locks, gears, and chains allows the owner to determine how much the Dutch door opens. The central hallway creates an axis dividing public from private spaces: the garage, road, and entrance lie to the east; the garden, pool, guest rooms, and other living spaces lie to the west. The hallway ends in a glass and steel box turned 180 degrees to maximize the spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.


We saw our job as healing the site, so for the most part the landscape was restored to a natural state. - Tom Kundig Design Principal


Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
Poppodium Nieuwe Nor offers a new landmark and hub for new music in the Netherlands
29 Jun 2022 News
Poppodium Nieuwe Nor offers a new landmark and hub for new music in the Netherlands

  In the city center Of Heerlen, Poppodium Nieuwe Nor by diederendirrix is a unique new landma... More

Izar Houses in Mexico celebrate the natural landscape, light, and rainfall
29 Jun 2022 News
Izar Houses in Mexico celebrate the natural landscape, light, and rainfall

On a steep site in Mexico, Izar Houses by Taller ADG Alonso de Garay pay exceptional attention to en... More

25 best architecture firms in Madrid
27 Jun 2022 News
25 best architecture firms in Madrid

Madrid is a center of gravity for European architecture. Spain’s capital city is host to an am... More

Lviv’s Radio Garage offers an experimental space for temporary exhibitions with a focus on radio, sound art, VR-art, and interactive media
25 Jun 2022 News
Lviv’s Radio Garage offers an experimental space for temporary exhibitions with a focus on radio, sound art, VR-art, and interactive media

In Lviv, Radio Garage is a media art centre and an experimental gallery for temporary exhibitions wi... More

Urban infill project Manifesto Market Andel activates an underutilized gap in Prague’s urban fabric
25 Jun 2022 News
Urban infill project Manifesto Market Andel activates an underutilized gap in Prague’s urban fabric

Located in Prague’s Andel District, Manifesto Market Andel is an urban infill project activati... More

Amsterdam’s iconic Droogbak building transformed into a 21st-century office space for a prestigious law firm
24 Jun 2022 News
Amsterdam’s iconic Droogbak building transformed into a 21st-century office space for a prestigious law firm

An iconic 19th-century building next to Amsterdam Central Station, Droogbak has been transformed int... More

Renovated hacienda-style villa in Belgium respects its history while exploring form and materials
24 Jun 2022 News
Renovated hacienda-style villa in Belgium respects its history while exploring form and materials

House VD-B by Graux & Baeyens architecten is a renovated hacienda-style villa in Evergem, Belgiu... More

Landmark urban renewal project comes to the heart of Bruges with the completion of The Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre (BMCC)
22 Jun 2022 News
Landmark urban renewal project comes to the heart of Bruges with the completion of The Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre (BMCC)

In the heart of the historic city of Bruges, The Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre (BMCC) is a... More