DESIGN & ARCHITECTURE
Led by Aaron Neubert, FAIA, the Los Angeles-based architectural firm ANX creates a majestic residence overlooking the Sierra Pelona Mountains.
Exhausted from years of two-hour work commutes, Aaron Neubert Architects’ (ANX) clients engaged their expertise to develop a new residence within a mile of their Southern California manufacturing company’s facility and offices. The clients’ primary request was to maintain a parallel connection to the land as they do in their current residence. So the selected, an undeveloped rugged sandstone terrain bisected by a dry river dotted with native yucca, oak, sagebrush, and beavertail cactus, site for the new home.
“In response to the challenge of creating spaces to view, measure, and engage with the diversity of the surrounding semi-arid landscape, the Arroyo Oak House is open and transparent, immersed in natural light, and visually integrated with the surrounding Sierra Pelona Mountains,” explains Aaron Neubert. “Optimizing the connection to this unique topography, multiple interlocking program-specific pavilions are oriented across the site. The placement and overlap of these pavilions result in varying scales of gardens, terraces, and decks, encouraging landscape elements to literally and perceptually permeate the home’s interior.”
Location: Castaic, CA Architect: ANX / Aaron Neubert Architects
Structural Engineers: Craig Phillips Engineering Landscape Designer: LPO / Jeff Lindfors
Upon approach, an elevated, horizontally-clad zinc volume welcomes you, transparent to focus attention on the distant ridgelines and semi-reflective to catch the impression of the clouds. Entering below this mass and into the living level, primary apertures on the perimeter and secondary fissures between the pavilions collage distinct mountain and sky views. Split-level interior spaces expand into exterior terraces, collapsing the domestic environment upon the rural landscape.
The lower level is home to a home gym, laundry room, guest suite, and pool terrace, extends into the hillside, providing an unobstructed panoramic vista. The continuous materiality of cedar and limestone accentuates the experiential relationship between inside and out. This connection to the outdoors continues on the upper level, which contains the primary bedroom, home office, two secondary bedrooms, linear balcony, and lounge deck.
The pool terrace and adjacent open-air living room unfold onto the meadow and, ultimately, the arroyo below, augmenting a natural, preexisting path for animals with a minimally delineated walking loop to explore the site. The sensitive nature of the fire-susceptible landscape, as well as the unique climate, solar, and seasonal conditions, called for careful positioning of the home and consideration of plant specifications and irrigation requirements.