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Concrete Residential Architecture designed to feel Spacious

This home has it all. A window wrapped interior living space, a private lounging exterior space, a pool that wraps two sides of the home and an ocean view. The design of the Cresta is one of balance, rhythm and harmony with the interior and exterior living spaces almost equally divided. The home is a 5300 sq. Ft. project designed by Jonathan Segal FAIA in San Diego, California – and this home is his dream house. It consists of two floors above grade, and one below. Wrapped in glass the home could easily have lost its privacy, but the unique addition of the outdoor living space offers the home the privacy it needs. The large cut out of the concrete roof over the exterior space is a stunning graphic addition that lets the sun shine in during the day, while the lighting takes centre stage during the evenings.

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When the sun shines its time to turn on the small fountains in the pool. These 3 fountains give a vertical and moving dynamic to an otherwise flat and calm plane of water while at the same time creating a background sound of moving water to help disguise any of the noises from the surrounding properties. A concrete pad between the home and the pool is just the perfect size for outdoor dining.
The outdoor living space leads down to a lower level that eventually leads down to a path landscaped on both sides with box hedges. The formality of the hedging flows with the clean graphic lines of the concrete fencing and building and although the neighbors are close by on both sides, the creative location of all the various spaces offers a sense of seclusion.
The design of the pool offers two zones. The first is for casual swimming while overlooking the view, the second is for swimming laps. Both sides can be viewed from the main level of the home through its “looking glass” walls.
The concrete pad that separates the pool from the interior living space creates a relaxed and intimate space for outdoor dining while enjoying the view. The furniture is kept light and open so as to continue the feeling of wide-open spaces.
Just around the corner from the terrace is a private outdoor space where the homeowners can lounge, read a book or sun tan. Although, the building would normally hide this area from view, the wrap around windows allow those on the terrace to look through the home to the private lounge area and even though the concrete privacy fence is nearby, the glass walls on the home keep the space open and light. Concrete planters along the privacy fence soften up the stark wall with ferns and ornamental trees, as does the narrow strip of grass.
the outdoor lounge is a study in planes. The concrete pad has a short flight of stairs that leads down to a lower level. 3 rectangular concrete privacy screens rise up to the wrap around concrete perimeter to the open sky ceiling and just beyond them is the concrete privacy fence. The row of ornamental trees continues the repeat pattern of the concrete privacy screens, as does the 3 sections within the outdoor benches. Although the outdoor area is almost all concrete, the strategic use of plants in a repetitive motif offers the space a much needed natural component to create the continuous flow to the panoramic ocean views.
Just above on the 2nd floor of the home is the bedroom. Nestled into the corner is a light leather Eames lounger. The roofline of the neighbours home means there is no direct line of view to this corner of the room. Further down the room is a more direct line of sight to the neighbors and this is where the concrete privacy panels that rise from the deck below are at their most useful.
The home uses floor to ceiling windows on both levels with a concrete division that acts as both a roof overhang on the lower level for shade, and a cat walk on the upper lever for amongst other things – an easy way to keep all that glass clean! In the Master Bedroom the view is the main feature, so the rest of the room is kept clean and simple. The bed, a floor lamp, a place to read and a desk. Next door is the Master Bath and here you can just make out a vessel sink mounted on a vanity of drawers. On the main level below the En-suite is the dining area and below the bedroom is the interior living space.
The interior living space is furnished in a minimalist style with only seating created by one couch in a soft natural leather tone, 4 leather stools, a glass topped 42″ coffee table and two wall mounted cabinets for storage. The views outdoors are to the outdoor lounge area, the terrace and the concrete privacy wall with the neighbors greenery spilling over for a welcoming touch of nature. The concrete pads used in the outdoor spaces continue through the interior.
Separated from the interior living space by a concrete wall is the indoor dinging area. Here the only furnishings are once again kept to the basics. A large table with a base reminiscent of a tree stumps supports the large top. On the tabletop is a brass sculpture that abstractly suggests the head of an antelope. The dining room chairs are an interesting single piece of material bent to form the backrest and the seat. An area rug in a soft pale beige defines the space and an interesting row of vertical metal slats repeats the window and door framing materials while creating a visual barrier to the open tread stairway beyond.
The lap pool is flanked by the concrete privacy wall and the home. On this side of the home the lower level has a series of sliding and stackable glass doors, that when open offer an unobstructed access to the water. The homeowner can simply climb in or out of the water without worrying about getting the concrete floor wet.
If the owner is tired of swimming laps but not quite ready to re-enter the home. The dining terrace is a welcoming place to towel off and relax.
After a quick towel off and a glass of water, it is just a few short feet around the corner to the open roofed outdoor lounge area.
In the evening, after the sun goes down, the interior of the home is a quiet and enchanting place to enjoy the scenery
With all the lights on the graphic appeal of the vertical concrete barrier is even more stunning.
Under the night sky the lights sparkle and dance on the concrete surfaces and on the pool below.
It is clear why the Cresta is the dream home of architect Johathan Segal. Who wouldn’t want to live in this minimalist indoor / outdoor concrete home of glass walls.
main level floor plan
second level floor plan
basement level floor plan
Jonathan Segal FAIA
Photographs by Mathew Segal
via Freshome


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