David Hertz Architects FAIA & The Studio of Environmental Architecture

Butterfly House


butterfly house

A butterfly roof is both an environmental system and sculptural shorthand for the project. The roof shape collects rainwater for irrigation, and symbolically it ascends above the residential volumes, providing an angular counterpoint to their more rectilinear geometry. Materiality heightens this contrast: the wood ceiling glows warmly when illuminated against the dark facade. These walls absorb heat for exposed solar thermal performance, signified with evacuated tubes doubling as an architectural accent. This system provides heat for domestic purposes as well as the pool. An outward facing green wall echoes the roof’s chevron profile with a diagonal pattern of durable, drought tolerant plants. Meanwhile, the side of the wall that facing the house is covered with an edible landscape that provides occupants with fresh produce.

Project Details

Year: 2013
Location: Venice, CA
Typology: single family residence
Program: 3 bed, 3.5 bath
Size: 3,700 sqft
Sustainable Features:
  • evacuated solar tubes
  • photovoltaic panels
  • hydronic radiant heating
  • stormwater collection
  • recycled wood
  • natural ventilation
  • thermostatic window controls
  • draught tolerant landscapinG
  • urban agriculture
Photography: Laura Doss, James Galt