L.A. at Home

Design, Architecture, Gardens,
Southern California Living

« Previous Post | L.A. at Home Home | Next Post »

Pro Portfolio: A new steel home as rugged as the land

July 12, 2010 |  8:08 am


Every Monday we post a new home whose design is presented in the architect or interior designer's own words. This week:

Architect: Sparano & Mooney, Los Angeles

Location: Salt Lake City

Goals: To build a contemporary house in the mountains that was integrated into the relatively compact site and is as "green" as possible.

Architect's description: Located in a canyon just east of Salt Lake City, this 2,500-square-foot residence was designed for a couple with young children. The complex skin was assembled on-site using interlocking recycled steel shingles in a harlequin pattern. This textural surface was used on three sides of the house and casts shadows across its facade. Glass and wood-textured concrete also were part of the rugged, low-maintenance material palette. Materials were chosen with safety in mind, because the canyon is periodically threatened with wildfires.The house was designed to sit lightly on the Earth with its compact footprint and sensitive integration into the site. Virtually no electrical loads are required for daytime lighting; daylight illuminates all of the spaces, either through windows or Solatube skylights. Natural ventilation is utilized much of the year, bringing canyon breezes into the home. In winter, the radiant-heat concrete floors provide all the warmth that is needed. The home was LEED-H certified at the Silver level, the first home in Utah to achieve this certification. 

Keep reading for more details and photos ...


Photo: The cladding, applied as shiny metallic shingles, slowly developed a mottled rust-colored patina. Glass and wood-textured concrete were also a part of low-maintenance palette. Credit: Sparano & Mooney


Photo: In the great room, the Redstone doors are part of the 30-foot window wall that opens the space to the canyon. Radiant-heat concrete flooring runs throughout the house. The bookcase, cabinets and table are custom. The chandelier is Ikea. Credit: Sparano & Mooney


Photo: The Mermaid soaking tub in the master bath is just the place to relax and take in views of the rugged Utah landscape. The sleek, low-profile sinks are from Kohler's Purist line; the wall-mounted faucets are by Justyna. Credit: Sparano & Mooney

Photo: A walnut veneer cube separates the master bedroom and bath. The cube does double duty as a headboard, with a niche to hold bedtime reading and a space for a walk-in closet. Credit: Sparano & Mooney


Photo: Carrara marble countertops are combined with Ikea's simple Nexus cabinets. The professional-style faucet is by KWC. Credit: Sparano & Mooney

  SMA - Stair Detail_2

Photo: Broad sandstone steps lead to the kitchen door, sheltered by the steel-plate frame.  Credit: Sparano & Mooney

  SMA - Stair Detail_1

Photo: A "floating" steel-plate staircase leads to the front door. It was fabricated off-site and dropped into place with a crane. Credit: Sparano & Mooney

-- Anne Harnagel

Top photo credit: Dennis Mecham


Madonna concert tour director's Hollywood Hills house

A new home office and some Spanish style in Santa Monica

123-year-old carriage house gets updated