pugh + scarpa, santa monica, calif.

Although Orange Grove looks nothing like the pitched-roof bungalows that surround it, a judge pronounced it “a good neighbor.”

Pugh + Scarpa achieved that quality by creating bold, glassy bays and large balconies on the street façade and by breaking the building into two different human-scale parts. Although the five units are market-rate, the designers took a page from their affordable housing projects. “We were trying to get as much volume as we possibly could and lots of natural light without breaking the bank,” says  Lawrence Scarpa, AIA . Spans are limited so that conventional framing could be used, and interiors occupy one big open space with a mezzanine for sleeping. Like the Schindle House not far away, windows and porches are part of an abstract sculptural ensemble, with windows placed ingaps between different sections of the building.

“The orientation to the street is nice,” one judge concluded. “It’s a striking image.”

principal in charge: Lawrence Scarpa, AIA
project architect: Ching Luk, Pugh + Scarpa
developer: Chris Debolt, Urban Environments, Los Angeles
general contractor: Sandy Becker, Becker General Contracting,Los Angeles
landscape architect / interior designer: Pugh + Scarpa
project size: 1,200 square feet per unit
site size:  0.15 acre
construction cost: $125 per square foot
sales price: $725,000 per unit
units in project: 5
photography: Marvin Rand