Location Venice, CA
Size 4,700 ft²
Completed 2011
Cost $1.7 million
Architect Brooks + Scarpa Architects
General Contractor Glenn Lyons Construction
Structural Engineer Charles Tan + Associates
Landscape Architect Z Freedman Landscape Design
Solar Panels M & M Solar Solutions

Calm. Relaxed. Organized. Brooks + Scarpa Architects’ net-zero Yin Yang House, selected as an AIA COTE Top Ten Green Project in 2013, is meant to contain a growing family with several children while being an effective commercial office and also teaching green living through its sustainable design. A series of courtyards and adaptable spaces connect the home’s interior, making the areas organized and simultaneously able to expand to suit the client’s work or family needs.

multivalent / məl-tē-ˈvā-lənt / adjective

Having many values, meanings, or appeals. A stylish private home that doubles as a professional business is the through-line for this home, but it was also important for the house to serve as a social space. The home’s offices double as children’s studying space, and the kitchen is kept open to also be an entertainment area. A 50-foot-long sliding door allows the courtyard to spill indoors or the living room to extend outdoors.

cantilever / kan-tə-ˌlē-vər / noun

A projecting beam or member supported at only one end. The house’s roof is a large cantilever that shades the bedrooms from direct sunlight, reducing solar gain and increasing privacy while contributing natural light and ventilation. The fascia of the roof’s overhang also houses the 12-kilowatt photovoltaic system that loops continuously in and out of the building.

indivisible / in-də-ˈvi-zə-bəl / adjective

Not divisible; unable to be divided or separated. Taijitu, the iconic symbol of the yin and yang concept, is exemplified in the home’s street-facing façade. Appearing to be solid, behind its recycled steel door is a courtyard that allows the area to be both sides of the same “space” coin. This theme is reiterated ostensibly in intentionally small and simple bedrooms that were designed to allow larger public spaces that emphasize family—compartmentalizing the home to bring family together.

Yin Yang House by Brooks + Scarpa Architects

Yin Yang House by Brooks + Scarpa Architects