The on-site two-bedroom rear main house and front pied-a-terre above the garage (a reversal of the more common relationship between main and guest house found in this neighborhood) was a dated 1980s remodel in an American Southwestern style.
The primary design challenges were to reconsider the building structures and allow shared use by an extended family while maintaining varying levels of privacy. The two story façade facing the courtyard became entirely glazed, which is in turn shaded by a folding, perforated metal skin that rests on an aluminum exoskeleton.
This perforated skin and supporting aluminum armature is mirrored across the courtyard by a folding enclosure surrounding the garage apartment. Only these building surfaces extend into and float above the courtyard. Primarily designed as sun shades, they provide privacy and filtered natural light into the main living spaces of the house and apartment. In addition they form the support structure for balconies that extend from the master bedroom of the main house and the apartment to allow family members to see each other across the property.