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Well Thawed Out

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At the end of 2000, Tryggvi Thorsteinsson and Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir, Icelandic natives and partners in the Santa Monica–based design firm Minarc, bought what was essentially a teardown in the West Village neighborhood of Los Angeles.
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  “The sun rises behind the house and heats up the concrete mass during the morning, and [comes] through the front of the house in the afternoon; if need be the radiant energy warms up the house when temperatures drop in the evening,” says Thorsteinsson. Thanks to the thoughtful process, the couple was able to leave out the air-conditioning, and the house’s under-floor radiant heating system has turned out to be almost superfluous.  Photo by: Raif Seeburger
    “The sun rises behind the house and heats up the concrete mass during the morning, and [comes] through the front of the house in the afternoon; if need be the radiant energy warms up the house when temperatures drop in the evening,” says Thorsteinsson. Thanks to the thoughtful process, the couple was able to leave out the air-conditioning, and the house’s under-floor radiant heating system has turned out to be almost superfluous.

    Photo by: Raif Seeburger

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  Thorsteinsson (above left, standing in doorway) relaxes with his daughter Carmen 
Inga (standing) and friends on the outdoor sleeping pavilion. The platform is surrounded by 
black lava rock, which acts as a deterrent to keep children away from the edge of the second-story deck.  Photo by: Raif Seeburger
    Thorsteinsson (above left, standing in doorway) relaxes with his daughter Carmen Inga (standing) and friends on the outdoor sleeping pavilion. The platform is surrounded by black lava rock, which acts as a deterrent to keep children away from the edge of the second-story deck.

    Photo by: Raif Seeburger

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  An 8-by-12-foot piece of tempered glass on the front of the house serves as a window for the first-floor den and a railing for the second-floor office.  Photo by: Raif Seeburger
    An 8-by-12-foot piece of tempered glass on the front of the house serves as a window for the first-floor den and a railing for the second-floor office.

    Photo by: Raif Seeburger

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  The simplicity of the design is complemented by the unfussy use of materials, including the exposed edges of the bedroom furniture and paint-free drywall.  Photo by: Raif Seeburger
    The simplicity of the design is complemented by the unfussy use of materials, including the exposed edges of the bedroom furniture and paint-free drywall.

    Photo by: Raif Seeburger

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  The sides of the orange Corian kitchen counter are clad in recycled rubber.  Photo by: Raif Seeburger
    The sides of the orange Corian kitchen counter are clad in recycled rubber.

    Photo by: Raif Seeburger

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