The Blade’s Residence in Santa Barbara was designed in 1993 by Thom Mayne, (founder of Morphosis Architects Inc.), and completed in 1997. According to the Morphosis Architects website, the home provided
an occasion to activate land surface and respond to a natural site on a scale that makes it distinct from houses we had constructed in the past, which tended toward more introverted responses to their urban conditions. Our strategy made the garden space the dominant element in a composition that interweaves interior and exterior in a dynamic interplay. The initial occupying gesture was formed by the broad sweep of the elliptical walls encircling this garden space, while the house itself is a fragment slicing laterally across the site.
Two types of walls were used to create outdoor spaces. One set is orthogonal and responds to both the geometry and the community of houses in the neighborhood. The other set of elliptical walls defines and extends the space of the outdoor room. At the two extreme points of departure for this enclosed volume, separate elements anchor the house as it bridges from the road to the inner site. The street end contains an inconspicuous garage and gallery, a modest statement deferring to the character of the neighborhood. At the farther, unoccupied edge of the site is the bedroom, which straddles the boundary wall. It is both a confined and unconfined form that mediates between the interior and exterior worlds.
Morphosis Architects Inc. was founded in 1972 as an “interdisciplinary practice involved in rigorous design and research that yields innovative, iconic buildings and urban environments.” To learn more about their work go to www.morphopedia.com.