Location is everything. Not only does this single family residence boast breathtaking views, serene privacy and an infinity pool, but its unique site and architectural layout forces creativity upon the structural engineer. The combination of materials and combination of systems is what makes this residence truly unique. Although the exterior of the home may appear simple, there was heavy coordination with all disciplines to ensure the client’s needs and desires were met. Steel beams were utilized to keep interior spaces open. Cantilevered steel columns were used to provide vertical and lateral support for the large 2nd and 1st floor decks. Premanufactured shear wall panels were incorporated to maximize openings at the living room. Lastly, a combination of conventional, shallow foundations with deepened pile foundations was used to accommodate a steep slope on one side of the residence. Outside of the building footprint is where the real challenges started to emerge. A seamless transition from the back deck both directly into the infinity pool and out on to the sun deck was paramount in creating the tranquil space needed to escape from the busy, bustling city below. Specific details were incorporated into both the structural and architectural design to support this concept. For example, the deck framing was designed to cantilever over and conceal the pool cover vault. Framing direction was considered to ensure the exposed decking was oriented in the correct direction. Five large, steel braces were carefully detailed to support the approximately 14′-0″ x 47′-0″cantilever deck adjacent to the pool while also minimizing any visual obstructions as you approach the residence. Even site elements such as the retaining wall along the driveway, vehicular entry gate and guardrails were carefully coordinated. Everywhere you look, it is clear and obvious that there was a tremendous amount of work and coordination not only during design, but also during construction to make the client’s dreams become a reality.
Architect: Studio William Hefner
Photos: Elizabeth Nielsen