Project Name: 084 "350 Anita Drive "


Project Description


Program / Site
The Schow Residence is a 2,400 square foot single-family home located in the Arroyo area of Pasadena. The hillside property was one of two adjacent vacant lots that had previously belonged to a larger estate. The 7,200 square foot property drops over 50 feet from the entry along Anita Drive to the rear of the property. The clients are a retired couple that had previously lived for more than 25 years in a Spanish Colonial home in San Marino raising a family of two grown children. In complete opposition to their previous home the couple asked if a house could be built out of concrete with vast expanses of glass. The Schows enjoy entertaining and requested a house that was able to open to the exterior providing a sense of indoor/outdoor living throughout the year. The 2,400 square foot house was to be developed to require very low maintenance using exposed concrete block and prefinished metal siding. The floors are all poured in place colored concrete with floor drains allowing easy cleaning. Originally the owners hoped to use galvanized siding and roofing materials however the City of Pasadena Hillside Ordinance required a painted finish on all exposed metallic surfaces
The simple two level plan is organized around a central linear "core element" that contains all of the homes service functions creating a privacy separation between the street and the living spaces to the east overlooking the view. The overall form breaks down into several discrete volumes as the house steps down the hill, responding to the Hillside Ordinance requirements. The upper or entry level of the central core contains a powder room, internal staircase and galley kitchen overlooking a large open living/dining space. All spaces open to an exterior deck along the view side of the property.

The lower floor is comprised of two master suites a home office/guest room with the support spaces located in the central core providing a retaining wall supporting the driveway above. These spaces are designed to have a greater level of privacy from the street and more public spaces above.
The house was designed to utilize a concrete block module with the corresponding exposed steel structure sized to integrate into the block unit size. Steel columns were selected to minimize foundation work on the sloping hillside site as well as provide a moment resisting frame to maximize the glazed areas. The floating roof forms were developed to provide solar shading throughout much of the year as well as induce natural cross ventilation by way of a continuous band of operable clearstory windows. Large exterior canvas draperies are suspended from the roof in the summer months to minimize the home’s dependence on air conditioning. The shaped roof form floats over the living spaces trapping afternoon thermal breezes increasing inducing natural ventilation at the upper floor.
Construction was completed with the owner acting as general contractor with assistance provided by the architects. The project was completed in 1999 at a cost of approximately $125.00 per square foot.