Smith & Others twofer: Pacific on one side, Torrey Pines on other
With banks of windows up to 20 feet high taking in the ocean to the west, the new Del Mar home of David and Linda Weinman would seem hard-pressed to deliver a more glorious view -- unless you were to look toward the south, where more glass frames vistas of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.
"Our idea was to connect the park at the back with the ocean in front,” said Ted Smith, who, with Kathy McCormick, makes up the architectural firm Smith & Others.
Their task was not easy, given that the sloping site has large houses on both sides. The architects not only positioned the new house close to the property's rear boundary, thus opening up the view to Torrey Pines, but also elevated it, expanding the views northward.
The result feels like something of a giant Modernist balcony from which the Weinmans can take full advantage of their perch high above the Pacific.
The three-bedroom, 3,500-square-foot home looks deceptively simple: two concrete-and-glass boxes. Inside, however, the ingenuity of McCormick is much in evidence. She designed every room with a different ceiling height, ranging from 20 feet in the living room to a mere 7 feet where the sloping ceiling of the master bedroom hits the east wall.
This bedroom, above right, a mezzanine only 12 feet wide, is walled by glass for an exaggerated sense of living, and sleeping, above the ocean.
Given the connections to nature, it is somewhat surprising that the house has an almost industrial feel.
“We always loved the atmosphere of the spare, contemporary art gallery,” David Weinman said.
He and his wife gave McCormick and Smith specific instructions on the material palette: steel, glass, concrete, raw wood, earth tones. If stucco had to be used, it had to be white. It was an order that was easy to meet, and one that paid off. Even though each room feels different, the house holds together as a whole.
Another consideration: art. The Weinmans owned a substantial collection, Smith said, "so the spaces are designed to foster a connection to it."
The house is a far cry from the 1970s-flavored original residence on the site, purchased by the couple more than a decade ago.
"It had few views because many of the windows were shaped like the states of Nevada and Idaho," said David Weinman, a longtime resident of Del Mar.
During 1 1/2 years of construction, the couple lived in a 280-square-foot guest room, now demolished.
"It made us appreciate what we have now even more," David Weinman said. With the Nevada and Idaho windows gone, the views that remain are pure California.
-- David Hay
Photo credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times