Nestled amidst a neighborhood of single story bungalows in Venice, California, the Solar Umbrella Residence boldly establishes a precedent for the next generation of California modernist architecture. Located on a 41’ wide x 100’-0” long 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.
Inspired by Paul Rudolph’s Umbrella House of 1953, the Solar Umbrella provides a contemporary reinvention of the solar canopy—a strategy that provides thermal protection in climates with intense exposures. In establishing the program for their residence, which accommodates the couple and their one child chose to integrate into the design, principles of sustainability that they strive to achieve in their own practice. The architects carefully considered the entire site, taking advantage of as many opportunities for sustainable living as possible. 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. The Brooks Scarpa Residence elegantly crafts each of these strategies and materials, exploiting the potential for performance and sensibility while achieving a rich and interesting sensory and aesthetic experience.