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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

California Residence in San Diego by Zaha Hadid Architects

November 18th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: Zaha Hadid Architects
More projects by Zaha Hadid

An introverted sculptural structure unfurling towards the ocean and the private courtyards within: a powerful dichotomy between intimacy and exposure. A design characterised by a formal tension between straight and curved surfaces and a dynamic roof gesture delineating the boundary between private and shared space. The brief called for a single family house located at the top of a residential area overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

California Residence

  • Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects
  • Project: California Residence
  • Location: San Diego, USA
  • Design Area: 1200m2
  • Floor Area: 11000ft²
  • Site Area: 20000ft²

California Residence

  • Design: Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher
  • Project Director: Ken Bostock
  • Project Architect: Claudia Wulf, Elke Presser
  • Local Architect: Public, Architecture + Planning
  • Structural: Nabih Youssef Associates
  • Lighting: Office for Visual Interaction, Inc. OVI
  • Facade: Front Inc.
  • Sustainable Design: KEMA Services Inc.
  • Electrical Design: Nutter
  • Civil Engineering: Florez Engineering Inc.
  • Contractor: Wardell Builders

California Residence

Our design concept merges straight and curved surfaces at the perimeter of the building into a softer dynamic which then open dramatically to reveal the Ocean beyond. Two abstract elements are superimposed and transected by a dynamic roof gesture, where private and family spaces are clustered, emphasising the Ocean view.

California Residence

The surrounding landscape design follows the language of the building, demarcating the entrance and leading visitors in one, continuous movement from the outside to the interior. Following a parallel axis from the distant shoreline, the main areas of the house are distributed linearly along a porous gallery. Vertical ramps and connections spill into this linear space, opening multiple interior readings.


The open loft interior captures traditional notions of family life, injected with a new dynamism that reflects the particularity of the site and its light material structure. An internal intersection of circulation loops interweave and coalesce the geometries of the house, both spatially and visually, into a single entity. The design’s principle of circulation is also indicated by the roof with spatial openings following movement paths within.

Second Floor Plan

Elements of the roof follow a downward trajectory to become the primary division between private and shared zones. At two other intervals, openings within the roof create introverted spaces at the heart of the building: a small, exclusive courtyard for privileged residents and a much larger, communal court used by other visitors.

Second Floor Plan

Visual connections to the Ocean or to the exterior are always provided from any part of the house. At the same time, divergent design characteristics create privacy and uniquely juxtaposed views of indoor and outdoor space.

First Floor Plan

East Elevation

More projects by Zaha Hadid

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Categories: Residential, Zaha Hadid

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