Palisades Redux ADU



Santa Monica, CA




Lisa Little, Noah Shipley, Mark Gee, Jesse Chappelle

A Santa Monica family adds two new structures—an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) and a garage—to an average-sized residential site with an existing two-story home. The desire was to create a communal space between all structures and maintain privacy within the living spaces. The existing home, with an open floor plan and a large expanse of floor to ceiling glass created a design challenge—the new structures would be visible from almost all parts of the home. The solution was to create a three-component parti where the new, highly visible structures read as sculptural forms from the existing house and a laser cut aluminum façade provides privacy from within the ADU.

The angled facades of the garage and ADU form an oblique datum in relation to the main house producing a trapezoidal yard, complete with a pool, deck, and outdoor kitchen. The main house and ADU face each other, equally sharing the exterior space. When open, the operable aluminum screens of the ADU extend the interior living space into the shared yard. When closed, they ensure privacy, filter daylight, and create a lantern-effect in the evening. The roof orientations intentionally differ, one optimized for solar collection throughout the day and the other positioned for peak demand hours.

Integrating our art and architecture practices, the laser cut screens that span the height of the facade are a result of a computational design process. We wrote custom software to respond to the programmatic and formal demands of the site. This parametric workflow allowed us to define the screen’s visual porosity in relation to the ADU’s privacy requirements within a free flowing design.

We believe that ADU’s can help increase housing availability in Los Angeles while benefiting those that choose to build them. As residential architects with extensive experience building ADU’s, we find solutions that don’t compromise on quality, privacy, or shared space.



Art Gray

Furniture Design

Desk Chair: Noah Shipley