Rainbow

MINARC RAINBOW HOUSE, Santa Monica, CA
• Re-purposed, re-used, re-cycled 5-unit apartment building converted to a single-family residence by remodeling less than 50% of the existing structure
• Simple Eco-conscious design that is focused on functionality and creating a healthy breathing family environment.
• The design elements are oriented to take optimum advantage of natural light and cross ventilation.
• Maximum use of natural light to cut down electrical cost.
• Interior/exterior courtyard allows for natural ventilation as do the master sliding window and living room sliders.
• Conscious effort in using only materials in their mostorganic form.
• No paint – No tile – No carpet – No forced air (AC/HV)
• Light reflecting off glass railings bathe the house in rainbows
• Solar thermal radiant floor heating through-out the house
• Solar thermal domestic water heating • Wood beams in the courtyard atrium using salvaged wood from original structure.
• Heated patio and fireplace for outdoor dining maximizes indoor/outdoor living. The courtyard veranda and hammock chairs off the playroom further connects the indoors and outdoors.
• Floor material connected in an unobtrusive and whimsical manner to increase floor plan flow and space.
• Design and use of color inspired by dramatic landscape to create contrasting stimulating interior. The recycled wood kitchen island creates a multi-functional gathering point in the heart of the house. The orange back splash (volcanic) The blue (recycled glass) under the staircase (waterfall) combines elements of strength and infinity. Use of black rubber/cork for the face of the cabinets (lava) to create visual contrast.
• Steel window sill in front room (guest, yoga, office) creates an additional seating area with magnetic cushions that can be re-arranged as needed. Magnetic hooks holds a curtain in place for privacy when guests occupy the space.
• Material manufactured from recycled tires and cork is used on kitchen cabinetry and kitchen chairs, creating an elegant kitchen unaffected by normal wear and tear of family life.
• The “disappearing” kitchen chairs are easily stored under island to maximize use of space.
• Upstairs bookshelf functions as railings/barriers between floor plans. and evocates the ocean by using blue panelite.
• Magnetic chalkboard sliders in the play area and paperboard sliders in the kids’ rooms transform the house itself into a medium for children’s artistic expression.
• Console behind the master bed echoes kitchen island and dining room table while providing storage for clothing.
• 90% of the furnishings and carpets re-used (bought off Craigslist).
• The tree in front of the house was salvaged from the back rear yard during construction
• Shoe storage drawers beneath coat closet double as a bench for changing shoes
• Our green practices and selection of sustainable products don’t raise the cost of a house. We believe that building repurposed and recycled shouldn’t be more expensive for our clients.
• Use of recycled and/or reclaimed materials
• Repurposed, reused, recycled 5 unite Apartment building converted to a single-family residence by remodeling less than 50% of the existing structure.
• No paint – No tile – No carpet – No forced air (AC/HV) • Wood beams in the courtyard reused from existing house • Inexpensive recycled rubber material used for bathroom sinks chosen for its great sustainability.
• Material manufactured from recycled tires and cork is used on kitchen cabinetry and kitchen chairs, creating an elegant kitchen unaffected by normal wear and tear of family life.
• Inexpensive re-cycled rubber material used for bathroom sinks chosen for its great sustainability.


Project statement

This is the ultimate re-cycling and re-purposing of a 5-unit apartment building into a single-family residence where the available resources have been used conscientiously with a view toward minimizing demolition and maximizing sustainability. A “no-paint, no carpet, no-tiles, no-a/c” philosophy keeps unnecessary chemicals away from the dwelling spaces we design. Recycled concrete panels, recycled rubber, rubber sinks, recycled cork, recycled paperboard, and reclaimed woods lend a new purpose and design to previously existing materials. The architects harness environmental conditions such as sun and wind to provide the building with the energy, light, and ventilation essential for comfortable living, without wasting new re sources. We aimed for maximum use of natural light to cut down electrical costs. Interior/exterior courtyard allows for natural ventilation as do the master sliding window and living room sliders. The house boasts solar thermal radiant heat throughout and solar thermal domestic water heating. Project cost: $250 sf. Size: 4,200 sf. Project time: 14 months. 


Design philosophy and solutions

We aimed to transform the existing building with grace and whimsy while minimizing the environmental impact. Less than 50% of the original structure was demolished. All ventilation comes from the cross ventilation of air through the courtyards and disappearing walls. Natural light enters the house to reduce use of electricity, but solar rays are also filtered so they don’t enter directly raise the internal temperature. Reaching for innovative sustainable solutions lead to the use of recycled materials, like rubber for sinks and finishing material in the kitchen, repurposing beams from the old house in the courtyard, and the use of reclaimed woods for the stair case and countertops. Our design elements are not merely decorative, but serve a functional purpose. Material manufactured from recycled tires and cork is used on kitchen cabinetry and kitchen chairs, creating an elegant kitchen unaffected by normal wear and tear of family life. The steel windowsill in the front room creates an additional seating area with magnetic cushions that can be re-arranged as needed. The upstairs bookshelf functions as railings/barriers between floor plans and evokes the ocean with blue panelite. Inexpensive re-cycled rubber material used for bathroom sinks chosen for its great sustainability. Magnetic chalkboard sliders in the play area and paperboard sliders in the kids’ rooms transform the house itself into a medium for children’s artistic expression. Shoe storage drawers beneath coat closet double as a bench for changing shoes.