kanner architects, los angeles

The dramatic Feinstein residence crests on a slim band of mountainside land that tapers gradually into the ocean. Built for a bachelor dentist, it's transparent, hygienic, contemporary, and fire-resistant. (The owner's previous house perished in a fire.) “The house reflects owner and site with clean lines and a fine touch,” says architect Stephen Kanner. Building projections cleverly shadow expanses of western-facing windows, permitting just a light tint and preserving their “crystalline” quality. Rectangular white tiles emphasize horizontal movement in the building and, more practically, ward off any fire-zone sparks.

The first floor backs into the hillside and Kanner took advantage of the protected elevation for a wall of storage. Steel framing allows for longer wall openings and glass corners, working with the single-loaded plan to ventilate the house with ocean breezes. Upper-level bedrooms bask in wraparound views. The jury admired the mix of simplicity and character, singling out especially “the beautifully detailed elevations.”

principal in charge / project architect: Stephen H. Kanner, FAIA, Kanner Architects
general contractor: JM and Co., Agoura Hills, Calif.
project size: 3,645 square feet
site size: 2.27 acres
construction cost: $400 per square foot
photographer: John Linden