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Clea House in San Diego, California by Nakhshab Development & Design, Inc.
September 11th, 2016 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Nakhshab Development & Design, Inc.
Designed, engineered and built by boutique San Diego firm Nakhshab Development & Design (NDD), the LEED Gold-certified Clea House, although just minutes from downtown San Diego, is set on a serene Mission Hills canyon slope. This mid-century modern-inspired single family home complements its surroundings and preserves the existing site terrain with a seamless cantilever design. Elegantly perched on a three-story access column that encases an elevator, a stairway and one “bonus” room per floor, the nearly 4,000 square-foot Clea House functions primarily as a single-level residence in which large open rooms and outdoor spaces flow together with nature prominently on display throughout the home.
Architect and NDD principal, Soheil Nakhshab defied the challenge of the property’s steep lot by rising above it with the use of innovative engineering and architecture that he says enables the house to appear to “float over the slope.” The home’s unique concrete structure, simple lines and minimalist approach all lend to its unique modern design aesthetic.
Upon entering the home, residents have the choice of ascending the stairway, taking the elevator to the main floor or stopping at any of three multiple-use “bonus rooms,” each complete with full bath and shower. This stack of rooms adds to the versatile appeal of Clea House while underscoring its ability to serve a multi-generational family and provide residents the ability to age-in-place. The bonus rooms can function as a variety of auxiliary spaces such as a home office that’s accessible to clients without having to enter the main living area, yoga studio, home theater, music room or extra bedrooms.
An elevator allows easy-access to the home’s primary living areas, creating greater accessibility to its elderly residents. The main floor offers an abundance of light and space and includes an expansive “entertaining room” for both family and guests, and is a focal point for panoramic views through the home’s front wall of windows. Sleek teak cabinetry surrounds a 7-foot long custom metal crafted fireplace providing generous storage and added warmth to the living room. The same cabinetry is employed in the adjoining kitchen and cleverly implemented to conceal most of the appliances creating continuity between the two spaces and adding to the home’s minimalist aesthetic. A massive Carrara marble island provides a large workspace and an elegant and inviting bridge between the kitchen, living room and dining room.
The backside of Clea House opens to an inviting patio nestled into the hillside through another glass wall, this time a 20-foot wide Fleetwood sliding glass door that tucks away into the walls when open. Stairs from the patio lead up to a large rooftop deck on which residents enjoy the beautiful San Diego climate and peaceful canyon setting. An array of 25 discreet solar panels are cleverly integrated into the rooftop design to provide an annual 11,200 kWh of power. “We receive more solar credits than we use so our electric bill is non-existent,” says Soheil. Below, a rooftop garden on the garage provides added visual interest and continues the natural landscape of the canyon through the property.
The second half of the main floor is composed of three one-bedroom suites situated around a separate and more intimate gathering room. As elsewhere in Clea House, the details impress: bedroom doors close flush with the walls, and bathrooms feature motion sensors to light middle-night visits. Instead of bathtubs, Nakhshab decided to build generously sized showers, and the one in the master bath features an impressive 10-foot wide enclosure that includes his and her dual showers on both sides.
In line with the NDD’s green design philosophy, sustainable measures are used throughout the home to the standard of LEED Gold. Drought tolerant landscaping, nontoxic pest control, water efficient fixtures and fittings, high efficiency LED lighting, Energy Star appliances, solar PV, and environmentally preferable products. This NDD signature home offers the minimalist but luxurious and sustainable design for which the firm’s team is famous.