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Zaha Hadid Architects

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Interior Design

California Residence

  • San Diego, USA
  • 2003 – TBC
  • Private client
  • Design
  • 1200m2
  • Floor Area: 11000ft² Site Area: 20000ft²

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.




Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher

Project Director

Ken Bostock

Project Architect

Claudia Wulf, Elke Presser

Design Team

Christos Passas, Barbara Pfenningsdorf, Helmut Kinzler, Daniel Fiser, Tyen Masten, Marcela Spadaro, Theodora Ntatsopoulou

Civil Engineering/Planning

Florez Engineering Inc


Wardell Builders



Electrical Design



Gilbane Building Company

Façade Consultants

Front Inc

Lighting Consultants

Office for Visual Interaction, OVI

Local Architect

Public I Architecture + Planning


Geocon Inc

Structural and Systems Engineers

Nabih Youssef Associates

Sustainable Design

KEMA Services Inc

Vertical Landscape

Patrick Le Blanc