aleks istanbullu architects, santa monica, calif.

“Green! So many projects are serious, and this one is fun,” enthused a judge. He was referring to the strangely clad cube that rises up on the edge of a wide canyon. Its swaying, variegated green stripes evoke the movement of canyon grasses while also making a playful statement about sustainability.

The jury appreciated the subversive humor. “It merges with the site, and then it doesn't,” said one member. “I like the blasphemous quality of it, setting up a dialogue between the natural and the artificial.”

One of the owners, a graphic artist, spent weeks custom-mixing the paint palette to match leaves that Aleks Istanbullu, AIA, had stripped from a nearby tree. “I had to convince them to do this odd color pattern, but she made it come home,” he says. “We had an owner who cared about what she ended up with and a builder who was meticulous.”

principal in charge: Aleks Istanbullu, AIA, Aleks Istanbullu Architects
project architect: John Heglin, AIA, Aleks Istanbullu Architects
project manager: Sanjiv Bajaj, Aleks Istanbullu Architects
general contractor: Tom Hinerfeld, Hinerfeld–Ward, Los Angeles
project size: 855 square feet
site size: 1.1 acres
construction cost: $675 per square foot
photography: Tim Street-Porter

product specs
backsplash:3form; bathroom and kitchen plumbing fittings:KWC America; bathroom plumbing fixtures:Americh Corp., Duravit USA; brick/masonry products:Block Co.; countertops:CaesarStone USA; exterior siding:CertainTeed Corp.; freezer, refrigerator:Perlick Corp.; garbage disposer:In-Sink-Erator; hardware:Schlage Lock Co.; hvac equipment:YORK; insulation:Owens Corning; kitchen plumbing fixtures:Elkay USA; lighting fixtures:Liton Lighting; paints/stains:BEHR Process Corp., Benjamin Moore & Co.; patio doors, windows:Milgard Windows; range:Gaggenau USA/Canada; roofing:GenFlex Roofing Systems; security system:ADT Security Services; sheathing: Pactiv Corp. (GreenGuard); skylights/roof windows:Bristolite Skylights