Montecito Residence: Santa Barbara County House – Toro Canyon Home

Montecito Residence Building, Toro Canyon Architecture, Photos, Design, America, Project

Montecito Residence, California, USA : Santa Barbara County House

Toro Canyon House – design by Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen, USA

Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Awards


Montecito Residence
Montecito Residence – photo : Tim Bies

Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen was awarded three awards at Monday night’s AIA Seattle Honor Awards. The Rolling Huts and Outpost were both given Awards of Merit, while Montecito Residence was awarded an Award of Commendation. Tom Kundig was the lead architect for all three projects.

Rolling Huts Rolling Huts
The Rolling Huts

The Rolling Huts – Award of Merit
Responding to the owner’s need for a space to house visiting friends and family, the Rolling Huts aim to be several steps above camping, while remaining simple in their design. Set in a meadow and facing the mountains, each single-room hut is placed so that an inhabitant’s gaze is drawn out of the room and towards nature. Informed by the local planning department that cabins would not be approved for the site, the architect hit upon the idea of placing the structures on wheels effectively making them RVs.

Tom Kundig was the lead architect for the Rolling Huts. Jerry Garcia was the project manager, and Kenny Wilson was a staff architect.

The Jury wrote of the Rolling Huts: ‘Wit, a playful approach to type, and a willingness to question local idiomatic practice set this project apart. ‘While many regional projects respond to the natural environment with comfort and elegance, these cabins are raw, edgy, unafraid of the challenging aspects of nature. ‘At the same time, the user cannot escape the fact that the buildings impose on the landscape, with their steel wheels and tentative siting. ‘These simple structures engage the spiritual question of our place in the landscape.’

The huts form a companion piece to the client’s personal retreat ‘ Delta Shelter, designed by Tom Kundig and itself a winner of three AIA Awards (the 2007 National Housing Committee Award, the 2007 Pacific Northwest Pacific Regional Design Honor Award, and a 2006 Seattle Merit Award). It was an Architectural Record Record House in 2006, and a Residential Architect Grand Award 2006.

Outpost Outpost USA
Outpost studio

Outpost – Award of Merit
Set in the remote, high desert landscape of Idaho, Outpost is a studio/workshop and sculpture garden for making and displaying art. One important aspect of the complex is the protected ‘paradise garden,’ which is separated from the wild landscape by concrete block walls. The materials used in the structure, including concrete, car-decking, and plywood, require little or no maintenance, and are capable of withstanding the extreme weather that characterize the desert’s four seasons.

Tom Kundig was the lead architect for Outpost. Steven Rainville was project manager, and Kirsten Murray and Gladys Ly-Au Young were staff architects.

The Jury wrote of Outpost: ‘The language for this project is simple and well executed, but what sets it apart is its willingness to take on more than being an object. ‘Rather than yielding to a natural temptation to engage too much with the amazing outdoor expanse, the design capture and limits outdoor space and transforms it as a landscape. Despite its small footprint, the projects takes and transforms territory, beyond the boundaries of traditional architecture. ‘The long, linear response, expected in an urban lot, gains strength from its unexpected deployment in the open landscape. ‘The designer deals simply with surface and space, rather than focusing on lines and planes.’

Montecito Residence Montecito Residence
Montecito Residence

Montecito Residence – Award of Commendation
Montecito Residence is a single-family home set in the fire-prone Toro Canyon, Santa Barbara County, California. The owners wanted a house that minimized its use of scarce natural resources and recognized the challenging environmental conditions of the area. The design solution is a house that functions as an umbrella to shield the house from the sun and allows naturally cool offshore breezes to move through the space. The roof harvests rainfall directing it to a cistern which can be used for irrigation or in case of fire. ‘The house is made of simple, fire resistant materials. Steel will be allowed to oxidize and concrete will be toned to allow the house to blend into the landscape.

Tom Kundig was the lead architect for Montecito Residence. Elizabeth Bianchi Conklin was the project manager, and Huyen Hoang was staff architect.

Montecito Residence design : Tom Kundig Architect

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The Jury wrote of Montecito Residence: ‘This is the work of a master grammarian. It practices the idiom incredibly well, but then advances that idiom by moving to a new level of investigation. The project moves well beyond the usual regional focus on craft.’

The Jury
The Jury for the AIA Seattle Honor Awards included Jeanne Gang, AIA, principal and founder of Studio Gang, Chicago; Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal and founder of Frank Harmon Architect, Raleigh, NC; and Joshua Prince-Ramus, principal and founder of REX, New York. Previously to starting REZ, Mr. Prince-Ramus was the founding partner of OMA New York, where he designed the Seattle Public Library. The event was moderated by Daniel Friedman, Ph.D., FAIA, Dean of the University of Washington College of Architecture and Urban Planning.

About Tom Kundig, FAIA, Principal
‘Raised and educated in a tradition of art fabrication, Tom Kundig’s designs successfully combine art, craft, and the human experience of space. He is internationally recognized for his sense of the American West landscape and for his integration of elegant architecture with the exploration and reinvention of parts of architecture that are overlooked or ‘forgotten,’ such as doors, windows or stairs, as well as for his use of kinetic architectural elements.

Kundig is a recipient of a 2007 Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. In 2006, Princeton Architectural Press released Tom Kundig: Houses. Kundig was a finalist for the 2005 National Design Award for Architecture, sponsored by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and he is a recipient of a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. In 2004, he was selected as one of eight North American Emerging Architects by the Architectural League of New York and was elected to the College of Fellows by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). To date, Kundig has been awarded a total of twenty-three AIA awards, including four recent National AIA awards (for The Brain, Chicken Point Cabin, Delta Shelter and Tye River Cabin).

His work has been published in over 250 publications worldwide. Cover stories have appeared in the New York Times Home Magazine, Italy’s La Republica’s D CASA, Spain’s Dise’o Interior and in James Truelove’s Cottages: The New Style. Dung Ngo included Studio House in his book World House Now, and recently Mission Hill Winery was included in Casamonti and Pavan’s book, Cantine 1990-2005. England’s Frame Magazine and Architectural Record published Sedgwick Rd., an ad agency.

Recently the D. Kenneth Sargent Visiting Design Critic at Syracuse University, Kundig has lectured extensively on design and served as a university studio critic throughout the United States and in Japan (at Harvard, the University of Texas and the University of Oregon, among others). His award-winning work has been widely exhibited in North America, most recently at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York. Other exhibit locations have included Syracuse University, and at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC which featured the Mission Hill Winery project as part of the exhibit ‘Liquid Stone.’ ‘A monograph on the work of the firm, Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects: Architecture, Art and Craft, was published by the Monacelli Press in 2003. Kundig’s undergraduate and graduate architecture degrees are from the University of Washington.

Olson Kundig

All images courtesy of Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen.

Tom Kundig Architect

Washington DC Buildings

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Montecito Residence

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