A home designed by alumnus Robert Thibodeau (M.Arch ’93), was featured in the 2010 Dwell on Design Westside Home Tour. Scheduled on Saturday, June 26, the tour featured homes in the “Surf and Turf” beach cities of the Los Angeles area.
Our house, also known as Biddle/Reilly Residence, is a 3,000 square foot, single story home on a flat 11,000 square foot lot in Venice. It is designed in the tradition of California modernism, emphasizing indoor/outdoor living and an open plan. Floor to ceiling glass floods the interior with daylight while cantilevered eaves provide shade and reduce solar heat gain. The design includes passive solar and natural ventilation to accentuate the emphasis on green building. Solar panels on the roof provide power for hot water, heating, and electricity. Natural materials were selected to create warm living spaces.
Thibodeau’s clients utilized local resources to infuse the Our House project with a sense of community. The project was approached as a traditional barn-raising, where friends and neighbors join together to erect a structure. Because the property is located on a street made up of single-story homes, the clients chose to build a single-story home rather than a taller home in consideration of scale with their neighborhood.
With wife and fellow SCI-Arc graduate Yasi Vafai (B.Arch ’90), Thibodeau co-founded Design Universal, known as du Architects, in 1995. du has had projects throughout Southern California, mostly in the Venice and Santa Monica area where Thibodeau and Vafai live and work. The firm has been a primary contributor to the reshaping of Venice as a community that nurtures support of both art and new architecture.