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Safdie Rabines Retrospective

Safdie Rabines Retrospective

  • Taal Safdie and Ricardo Rabines

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    Taal Safdie and Ricardo Rabines

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    Courtesy Safdie Rabines Architects

    Taal Safdie and Ricardo Rabines

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    Undine Prohl

    The home's front entrance leads through multiple interior levels to a series of side and rear terraces.

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    Undine Prohl

    Stained cedar adds warmth to the whitewashed stucco walls.

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    Undine Prohl

    On the rear of the house, trellises and overhangs provide shaded spots.

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    Undine Prohl

    Continuous travertine floors and a butt-joined glass corner help unite the home's interiors and exteriors.

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    Undine Prohl

    Clerestory windows maximize views of the rolling landscape and distant mountains.

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    Undine Prohl

    Rear terraces coalesce around a multi-part pool and an outdoor kitchen.

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    Courtesy Safdie Rabines Architects

    The project's site plan.

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    Undine Pröhl

    Inside the Artist Bridge Studio, a library and a sitting area flank the main workspace.
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    Undine Pröhl

    Steel cross-bracing adds extra support to the studio without detracting from its delicate appearance.

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    Undine Pröhl

    The studio spans a shallow arroyo next to the main house.
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    Safdie Rabines Architects

    The project’s floor plan.
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    John Durant

    Ricardo Rabines and Taal Safdie excel at designing outdoor rooms, such as the terraces and pool deck at this residence in Encinitas, Calif.

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    Ricardo Rabines

    The low-key front elevation of a custom residence in La Jolla, Calif.
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    Undine Pröhl

    Curves add a sculptural quality to the home’s design.
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    Undine Pröhl

    Clerestory windows let sunlight spill into the interiors.
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    Undine Pröhl

    The La Jolla home’s dramatic rear façade overlooks the Pacific Ocean.
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    Adam Butler

    When the windows of this San Diego remodel are open, palm fronds from surrounding trees poke into the living room.
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    John Durant

    The project fits seamlessly into its hillside site.
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    Brady Architectural Photography

    The Otay Mesa-Nestor Branch Library in San Diego, Calif.
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    Vince Streano

    North Torrey Pines Road Bridge, on which the firm collaborated with design engineer T.Y. Lin International.
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    Undine Prohl

    Natural light and tree views fill the main living area.

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    Undine Prohl

    Steps between the home’s four levels provide its only circulation space.

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    Undine Prohl

    A zebrawood veneer clads the kitchen cabinets.

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    Undine Prohl

    Sophisticated detailing, efficient use of space, and an openness to its wooded site help this house seem larger than its 1,400 square feet.

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    Safdie Rabines Architects

Launch Slideshow

Safdie Rabines Recent Projects

Safdie Rabines Recent Projects

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    © John Leonffu

    Like many of Safdie Rabines’ projects, the Miramar House in La Jolla, Calif., occupies a steep hillside site.

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    © John Leonffu

    Open shelving divides the living room and the dining area, allowing natural light and views to flow throughout the home’s public spaces.

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    © John Leonffu

    Pocketing glass doors let the home’s terraces merge with the interiors.

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    © John Leonffu

    Floor-to-ceiling wood detailing makes the kitchen itself feel like a piece of custom furniture.

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    © John Leonffu

    A corner window makes the most of ocean views from the master bath.

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    Undine Pröhl

    The entry to this Malibu, Calif., beach house leads to an atrium hall that brings in views of the Pacific Ocean.

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    Undine Pröhl

    The home’s curved wood ceiling continues into the master suite.

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    Undine Pröhl

    Each level of the beach house opens onto a terrace or patio.

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    Undine Pröhl

    The 6,200-square-foot residence also contains a guest house separated from the main house by a private garden.

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    © Viera Photographics

    Casa Diagonal, a custom home in La Jolla, Calif., won a 2012 Honor Award from AIA San Diego.

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    © Viera Photographics

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    © Viera Photographics

    Concrete floor tiles provide a neutral background that doesn’t try to upstage the home’s spectacular views, or the owners’ art collection.

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    © Viera Photographics

    In the open kitchen, walnut paneling and cabinetry contrast with crisp white countertops.

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    © Viera Photographics

    Extensive terraces allow the owners to enjoy their panoramic Pacific Ocean views.

When Residential Architect profiled Safdie Rabines Architects in 2006, the San Diego-based firm had just started to design bridges and institutional buildings, along with the residential work it had always done. In the years since then, the housing market cratered and then began to recover—so the firm’s timing worked out well. Bridges and other infrastructure commissions helped Safdie Rabines Architects get through the Great Recession, along with a house or two and some bigger-scale institutional jobs. “It’s been good to have a large variety of work,” says Taal Safdie, who runs the firm in partnership with her husband, Ricardo Rabines.

Safdie, Rabines, and their 19-person staff moved to a new office in 2010, a few blocks away from their old space. The current studio has patios large enough for outdoor meetings, and it encompasses an open interior space rather than the old studio’s charming but rabbit warren-like assembly of rooms. “It’s great to all be in one big space,” Safdie says. “This way everyone in the office knows what’s been going on.”

A lot, in fact, has been going on at Safdie Rabines. The firm just picked up four design awards from AIA’s San Diego chapter: one for a custom home in La Jolla, Calif., two for a student center at UCLA, and one for a pedestrian bridge in San Diego. It’s also introduced an interiors division called SRI. And it recently finished the first phase of a student housing community adjacent to Cal State-San Marcos, among many other projects.

Although Safdie Rabines has achieved an impressively diverse breadth of project types, custom residential work still plays a key role in the firm’s overall approach to design. “We love to do private residences,” Rabines says. “In residential you work with new materials and have a chance to explore them on a small scale. Then you can take that to public work. The nicest thing is that you can do a high-end private residence and take it through to affordable housing.”

At the moment, the couple is wrapping up a custom residence for which they also designed the interiors and some furniture pieces. They’ve also got a pedestrian bridge in Qatar under construction in addition to multiple infrastructure projects. Other work in progress includes a small hotel renovation in Sausalito, Calif., a public library in San Diego, the second phase of the Cal State-San Marcos student housing community, and a 153,000-square-foot mixed use, affordable housing community in San Diego’s Barrio Logan neighborhood.

A sculptural sensibility and a strong interest in indoor-outdoor connections run throughout their work, no matter what the scale. Check out our slideshows on custom homes by Safdie Rabines Architects.


Firm Specs
Years in practice: 19 / Currently active projects: 24 / Projects completed in 2011: 11 / Firm size: 21


Past Articles on Safdie Rabines Architects

ra50
http://www.residentialarchitect.com/architects/safdie-rabines-architects.aspx

Architect’s Choice
http://www.residentialarchitect.com/products/safdie-rabines-architects.aspx

Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., House
http://www.customhomeonline.com/design/above-it-all.aspx

2007 RADA
Artist Bridge Studio, San Diego
http://www.residentialarchitect.com/panels/artist-bridge-studio-san-diego.aspx

2006 Leadership Awards: Rising Star
http://www.residentialarchitect.com/architects/rising-star-taal-safdie-and-ricardo-rabines.aspx

Tree House, San Diego, Calif.
http://www.customhomeonline.com/residential-projects/tree-house.aspx