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Award-Winning Sunscreens

Check out these innovative sunscreens and shaded outdoor spaces from our 2011 CHDA winning projects.

Award-Winning Sunscreens

Check out these innovative sunscreens and shaded outdoor spaces from our 2011 CHDA winning projects.

  • The house opens up on its downhill side.

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    The house opens up on its downhill side.

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    Elliott Kaufman

    "These are the most special kinds of places that I love personally," says architect Wendy Evans Joseph about the outdoor spaces she creates, adding that "they have an incredible quality of being both indoors and outdoors, and the light is always so special." One of those special places that Joseph and her partner Chris Cooper created is this Geyserville, Calif., balcony overlooking an olive grove and distant mountains.
    Joseph and Cooper design exterior rooms that are protected yet still generate the "feeling of being projected into the landscape." This balcony, for example, is shielded on one side by a concrete wall while a redwood slotted sunscreen shades the other side. Although enclosed on both sides, the balcony cants out toward primary views with a translucent glass guardrail so users still feel connected to the lush vista. Joseph says that even though this is a guest house, her clients frequently walk down to this spot to have lunch.
     

    To read more about this 2011 CHDA winner, click here.

    Entrant/Architect: Cooper Joseph Studio, New York; Architect of record: Richardson Architects, Mill Valley, Calif.; Builder: Redhorse Constructors, San Rafael, Calif.
  • Kiwi House - +one design and construction, Baton Rouge, La.

    A privacy screen shades the long side porch.

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    A privacy screen shades the long side porch.

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    Devin Duffy

    "The construction isn't anything unique," says Fritz Embaugh modestly of this cypress screen running the length of the shotgun-style Louisiana home. But the construction is incredibly detailed and precise, which is typical of the design/build firm ran by Embaugh and partner David Baird. "It's all about the span of the support system," Embaugh explains about the elegance of the evenly spaced and level 1x1 planks.
    The cypress planks wrap around 4x4 support columns that are anchored into the home's foundation system and spaced about 4 feet apart. Cypress is a local wood that's naturally weather-and rot-resistant, so it shouldn't warp over time. Because the screen is the first thing visitors see when approaching the house, Embaugh says he paid particular care to its conclusion just past the front porch. "This end detail was the tricky part," he admits. "We created a very tight joint pattern by end-nailing the long boards onto the small board and making sure every piece is consistent."
     

    To see more of this 2011 CHDA winner, click here.

    Entrant/Architect/Builder: +one design and construction, Baton Rouge, La.
  • A sustainably harvested cypress ceiling adds refinement to the southern-style ??porch.??

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    A sustainably harvested cypress ceiling adds refinement to the southern-style ??porch.??

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    Michael Moran

    Zoning laws minimized the square footage of this Sullivan's Island, S.C., guest house, and building codes meant elevating well above ground level. Architect Stephen Yablon turned those restrictions into a spacious outdoor living room that maintains its cool even on sweltering summer afternoons. "Everything we did is in consideration of the climate," Yablon explains. Cypress planks as the ceiling treatment don't touch the plaster-wrapped support beams so air can circulate around the wood and dry it out. All lighting is plastic to stand up to the salt air, and the custom metal brackets holding the ipe outriggers in place have been galvanized and powder-coated.
  • Positioned along the edge of the lot, this guest-house addition creates a backdrop for the pool and a generous outdoor room.

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    Positioned along the edge of the lot, this guest-house addition creates a backdrop for the pool and a generous outdoor room.

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    Michael Moran

    Despite being underneath a two-story guest house, the outdoor living room feels cozy rather than claustrophobic. Yablon speced steel framing for the structure so there could be longer open spans between the columns. Those columns are hefty, but the smooth, round shape harkens back to traditional low-country porches and softens the concrete-pavered expanse of flooring-cum-pool decking.

    Click here to read more about this house.

    Entrant/Architect: Stephen Yablon Architect, New York; Builder: NBM Construction, North Charleston, S.C.
  • The Hover House experiments with uniting the front and rear yards on a small urban lot.

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    The Hover House experiments with uniting the front and rear yards on a small urban lot.

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    Derek Rath

    The second story of this house in L.A.—designed by architect Glen Irani—is placed perpendicularly to the ground floor, producing this shaded terrace. The project won a Grand award in the Custom Home, More Than 5,000 Square Feet category partially because the jury admired that the design connects to the landscape and offers roomy outdoor living on a compact urban lot.
  • Pushing the house to the long side of the lot allows the outdoor spaces to flow.

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    Pushing the house to the long side of the lot allows the outdoor spaces to flow.

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    Derek Rath

    The house is clad in deeply tinted cement plaster, and the refined al fresco living room has a bleached walnut ceiling, basalt stone fireplace, and French limestone flooring. The judges admired the terrace and its placement, also noting that the house's details are “executed very well, and nothing seems overdone.” 

    To see more of this proejct, click here.

    Entrant/Architect: Glen Irani Architects, Venice, Calif.; Builder: Irani / Projects Inc., Venice
  • Frosted glass panels enclose a private outdoor space lit from above by large roof opening.

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    Frosted glass panels enclose a private outdoor space lit from above by large roof opening.

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    Dominique Vorillon

    Architect David Montalba describes this master bath courtyard as, “a place which we wanted to connect to the sky and emphasize a strong indoor-outdoor garden relationship.” The shading comes from a redwood-clad roof overhang. Etched glass screens the private outdoor space while still allowing sunlight to filter through. An outdoor shower gives the lush space a practical use.

    Click here to read ore on this house.

    Entrant/Architect: Montalba Architects, Santa Monica, Calif.; Builder: Sarlan Builders, Beverly Hills, Calif.
  • This addition/renovation uses a detached live/work pavilion and garden walls to enclose a multipurpose outdoor living space.

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    This addition/renovation uses a detached live/work pavilion and garden walls to enclose a multipurpose outdoor living space.

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    Bill Timmerman

    This steel-framed polycarbonate awning can be lowered to help shade this Tempe, Az., patio during the day, or it can be raised to produce a building-width light fixture for cooler evening hours. The live/work project for and by architects Maria and Matthew Salenger won a Grand award in the Renovation category. “We made that the centerpiece of the program,” says Matthew Salenger of the operable awning. Similarly shaded walkways connect the live and work segments of the house, which together frame three sides of a grassy courtyard. Continuing the polycarbonate and steel combo, a translucent but opaque garden wall completes the enclosure.
  • The shade in its lowered position.

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    The shade in its lowered position.

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    Bill Timmerman

    In its lowered position, the awning spans the full depth of the patio and provides shading throughout day which in Tempe can reach temperatures well over 100 degrees.
  • The operable awning in its upright position.

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    The operable awning in its upright position.

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    Bill Timmerman

    A generous polycarbonate soffit shades the patio even when the awning is in its raised position.

    To read more about this porject, click here or see more of the awning detail here.

    Entrant/Architect: colab studio, Tempe, Ariz.; General contractor: Build Inc., Phoenix
  • Ipe slats wrap the balcony as decking, screen, and awning.

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    Ipe slats wrap the balcony as decking, screen, and awning.

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    Elliott Kaufman

    A meticulously detailed ipe screen encapsulates the glass walls of this Northern California residence and becomes floor, wall, and roof for the wrap-around balcony. Design team Wendy Evans Joseph and Chris Cooper used the permeable screen to frame views and harness prevailing breezes while creating privacy and shade for the owners. Joseph gives credit for the screen’s precise execution to general contractor David Warner, who had the “rather brilliant idea of placing temporary blocking around the ipe as it stabilized for the first few months.” She adds that it also took great skill to “make those slats the exact same height as the interior ceiling with the frameless glass so it’s a seamless flow from inside to out."
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    The ½-inch diameter steel rods forming the balcony rail are dovetailed between the ipe slats to continue the visual line of the screen and not distract from verdant vistas.
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    When closed, the home’s movable glass walls still strengthen the indoor-outdoor connection by reflecting the landscape.
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    The slatted screen creates a playful portrait of light and shadow throughout the day.

    Click here to read more about this renovation project.

    Entrant/Architect: Cooper Joseph Studio, New York; Builder: Redhorse Constructors, San Rafael, Calif.

People crave sunlight for improving their moods and absorbing vitamin D, yet they also need protection against cancer-causing UV rays. Artfully screened outdoor spaces, such as those highlighted here from our 2011 Custom Home Design Awards, offer inviting options for homeowners and their guests to soak in the sun or lounge in the shade. The jurors certainly took notice of how these thoughtful exteriors added aesthetic and practical value to a house. "I can picture myself sitting on that balcony every night with a glass of wine," remarked one.

Lot orientation, building codes, and existing structures often restrict options for placing outdoor spaces. Carving them out of the building or wrapping them with pervious screens can mitigate less than ideal solar patterns, however. In the projects shown, architects and builders faced some challenging situations, but in the end they created cool retreats for view gazing, communing with neighbors, or expanding usable living spaces.

Winner of a Merit award in the Custom Home, Less Than 3,000 Square Feet category, the Kiwi House in Baton Rouge, La., faces almost due south. In a community where homeowners have a long history of sitting on their front porches to visit with neighbors, that harsh afternoon sun was an issue. Fritz Embaugh, co-founder of +one design and construction, explains the firm's approach to creating a habitable and social space for their clients: "We developed a deep front porch, then screened it with 1x1 cypress slats in the direction of the harshest afternoon sun so they wouldn't bake."

Responding to building codes rather than social conventions, architect Stephen Yablon converted the required raising of the house into year-round outdoor living on his South Carolina guest pavilion, which won a Grand award for Outdoor Spaces. "Those areas beneath a house are usually covered by a cheap trellis and used for storage," he says. Instead, Yablon hid ducts within built-in seating, ran plumbing through support columns, and framed the elevated guest house in steel to allow for larger spans between columns to create an outdoor living area perpetually shaded by the structure above. "I just stayed there for a week, which was really fun," he says. "It amazed me how well it worked to screen the sun and catch breezes. All those calculations we did were correct."

Check out these projects and other award-winning sunscreens in the featured slideshow.