The Point Loma House, designed by Macy Architecture/Macy Jensen Architects is compact, yet imposing. It is simple, yet clever. Most importantly and strikingly, however, it is fully sustainable. According to the team that designed it, 95% of its projected electrical needs will be covered by a roof-mounted photovoltaic system. This clever technologic design twist is not the only way in which the Macy team attempted to create a resource-friendly, ‘green home’. Its compact shape (48’ L x 40’ W x 23’ H) minimizes the exterior surface area, maximizes thermal efficiency and reduces electrical and plumbing runs to an absolute minimum. Overall, the home was thus placed in the path of the wind and the sun, so as to make full use of the site’s particularities and available passive ventilation and heating resources. “Horizontal sunshades shield glass from summer heat gain, while the interior is naturally ventilated via the central atrium and clerestory windows.” More concern went into creating a structure that would stand tall and unaffected in the face of the frequent San Diego earthquakes. The home’s apparent steel frame is seismic-resistant and it is infilled with a rain-screen façade system that makes use of super-durable phenolic wood paneling. Rainwater is collected for the irrigation of the home’s garden, which consists mostly of drought-tolerant, native plant varieties. The building received the Home of the Year 2009 award from the San Diego Home & Garden Magazine.
The project, located at 4520 Coronado Avenue, San Diego, CA. was helmed by Mark Macy himself, and elaborated together with three members of his multiple award-winning team. It is a perfect illustration of the practice’s philosophy, part aesthetics-oriented, part utilitarian and quintessentially ‘green’: “to realize optimal architectural solutions using the best of current technology within the parameters of each project. We listen carefully to our clients in order to be responsive to their needs while always framing our work within the larger social and environmental context. We realize design solutions that are sensible, handsome, durable, cost-effective, resource-efficient and environmentally sensitive.” All photos taken by Scot Conti.