This Venice, California house by Modal Design is a marriage of art, architecture and nature; shadow and light; public and private life. The beachside community is characterized by its small lots, which meant the architects had their work cut out for them - especially when considering the massive existing pine tree on the property, with a trunk measuring five ft. across and a canopy 60 ft. high. Rather than seeing this as an obstacle to the house, the architect used it as its defining feature for this one-of-a-kind steel house. Three volumes make up this modern house idea - a glass volume sharing the ground level with a solid black base, and a cor-ten clad upper level that looks as though it's floating in thin air. The metal top is rusted and buckled, dotted with a pattern of Swiss-cheese style perforations that make this unusual home a most memorable one.
The glass volume feels like an outdoor living room opening to the garden just outside. Enhanced by the row of skylights overhead, this light-filled space is bright, open and airy.
Follow the line of skylights down a hallway, past a bank of alternating solid and open wood shelves, and to the metal-adorned staircase that echoes the pattern visible on the home's exterior.
This office is an inspiring spot to work, or daydream...
The glass wall blurs the boundary between interior and exterior, letting light and nature in unfettered.
As you ascend the staircase, you're pelted by this interplay of light and shadow, expressing itself as sunlight filters through the metal dotted facade and the stair enclosure.
Upstairs, the bedroom is a glass enclosed space, obscured by the metal shell. It allows for lots of natural light and views, while lending the space privacy.
The home's holey cladding works its way around the exterior and across the bathroom, where this private spa-style space enjoys all the same benefits as does the bedroom - light, views, and privacy.
A second bedroom...
And a third bedroom, patterned by the playful circular shadows.
The pattern of this house isn't relegated to the upper exterior. The swimming pool area outside features a gorgeous file tile featuring a wild, striped pattern of golds and browns.
The massive tree appears to be leading on the house, its branches reaching across the pool, reflecting in its still surface. Through the glass walls, clean and contemporary interiors glow warmly in the evening air.