Huntington Harbor, CA.
- front = tropical
- back = drought tolerant
Located in a residential neighborhood near the canals in Huntington Harbor, the French Residence is a 2,300 sq.ft. renovation of a 1964 existing structure. Reminiscent of architect Edward Killingsworth’s architecture of flat roof, post-and-beam construction and expansive glazing, the French Residence consists of simple and refined architectural elements.
As a member of a suburban track development many of its neighboring houses in the area had been bastardized with mediocre remodels, so the clients wanted to take the structure back to its original roots maintaining the essence of a 1960s California lifestyle with a contemporary twist. Because of the clients’ keen interest in entertaining guest-curated art shows, AdamWheelerDesign was hired to create a flexible setting that would act as both a private and public venue inside and outside. In such a context where the preconceived notion is safety and internally rotated separate spaces, much of what exists in this house is an openness and outward focus. The clients wanted to activate the front by using it as an extension of the living environment with an exterior fireplace as the focal point. The built-in benches square off the geometry of the house, defining the front space but not separating itself from the neighbors and the street.
Almost a reconstruction in approach, AdamWheelerDesign first subtracted much of the decayed, dry-rot structure before moving forward to the new design. Due to extensive water and termite damage, the house required new framing, windows and doors, reoriented floor plan, plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems. The primary exterior design elements include a front patio with fireplace and built-in furniture as an extension of the living room, an entry canopy, and an adjacent patio to the kitchen to be completed as a second phase. Offset by the clients’ fetish for Danish modern furnishings, the interior pieces enhance the new designs of the entry, kitchen, bathrooms, stairwell, dining room, and living room.