In our next project, we take a look at a Portland, Oregon home. Specifically we investigate how to bring more natural light into the living room located in the center of this roughly symmetrical 80 year old house.

Base Front
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Silver Lake Residence

 Project Type: Residential Renovation – Small Project
Location: Los Angeles, California 

Existing Conditions

Tucked away in the hills over Los Angeles in the community of Silver Lake, the owner of this 1930’s era home is looking to renovate the living area to include the kitchen, dining and living rooms.  Since these rooms are clustered on the north side of the house, they tend to be dark.  Also, the three rooms are disconnected from each other, small and not suitable for hosting social events.  Lastly, the owner would like to increase the ceiling height in the living room to give the room a greater sense of volume.  The design challenge is to address all of these conditions.

Los Angeles_34_Initial Floor Plan
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Project Type: Residential Renovation – Small Project
Location: Southern California

This property is located high on a hillside in southern California and as such tremendous views  exist to the southeast from the living room of this ranch-style home.   There is also opportunity to take advantage of abundant natural daylight to lighten up the interior space, specifically the living room in this case.


The diagram below shows the context.  The southeast side of the house faces the valley and hills to the southeast.  The valley is approximately a mile wide.

Site Orientation Significant opportunities exist to take advantage of views across the valley to the east-southeast.  Simplified sun travel paths are shown for the winter and summer conditions.  Notice how the sun will be high in the summer and low in the winter.  Combined with a southern/southeastern exposure of the wall in question, there are opportunities to control direct daylight.  Daylight can be prevented from entering your living room during the hotter times of the year without having to close blinds or shades.  During cooler winter months, when the sun is low in the south, daylight can enter the space providing warmth.

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