Architect Dan Weber calls the Santa Barbara climate – where “it’s never hot, it’s never cold, there are no bugs, no wind, and it never rains” – pretty much perfect. So it stands to reason that his firm, Santa Barbara-based ANACAPA Architecture (which also has an office in Portland), makes the most of bringing together the indoors and the outside when designing homes for clients.
Such is the case with the Crestline project, a former 1960s tract home in a neighborhood full of them. When Weber started working with a young couple with modernist sensibilities and a budget that was hardly unlimited, he envisioned a stunning renovation of the outdated home. And it all started with improving the connection between the indoor living spaces and the beautiful, oak tree-lined backyard.
“Few places on Earth are better for indoor-outdoor living than Santa Barbara,” Weber says. “The original house had just this little door opening to the backyard. We asked ourselves, ‘What is the best way to get the absolute maximum indoor-outdoor connection in that house?’”
With the living room, kitchen, and dining room separated from each other, Weber envisioned a great room that could completely open up to the backyard using huge moving walls of glass from Western Window Systems. But it would take some surgery, he says.
“In the living room, the existing roof form had a pretty low eave,” Weber says. “So we opened up the walls and vaulted the ceiling. We actually inserted a new steel beam to hold up the existing roof rafters, and we inserted that steel beam and a column inside the glass line, so that it didn’t interrupt the line of sight. And we cantilevered the steel beam out past the corner so we could open the corner out into the yard. That flying cantilever provides a really spectacular effect.”
The result: Two floor-to-ceiling Series 600 Multi-Slide Doors running the length of two walls and meeting at a 90-degree angle when closed. When they are opened, the living room is totally open to the backyard, providing Weber’s clients with great views of the mountains, tons of natural light, and fresh Pacific air coursing through the home. And he also designed a complete outdoor living space with big outdoor kitchen, built-in barbecue, fire pit and wooden shade structure.
The architect wasn’t done maximizing the indoor-outdoor living possibilities for his clients, who had an inkling about ways to improve that connection, but “I don’t think they quite envisioned going all out as we did,” he says with a little chuckle. “Fortunately, they were fully committed.”
So Weber and his team added 600 square feet to the master bedroom, with its 10-foot ceilings, and again added another set of floor-to-ceiling 90-degree Series 600 Multi-Slide Doors, these ones pocketing into the walls of the bedroom, providing a second seamless transition to the backyard.
“I really like the huge panes of glass and small frame profiles,” Weber says. “That’s what we’re always after. We want to be able to open up a whole wall quickly and easily and have very high level of transparency both in the open position and closed position.”
Weber also utilized various shapes and sizes of Western Window Systems windows throughout the home, as well.
“In minimalist and modern design, we are always trying to get more glazing and less frame, and these are super-minimal and clean,” he says.
Since its completion about four years ago, the single-level home has generated a bit of buzz for Weber and his firm, appearing on Dwell’s website and earning some ink in local publications.
“We all always design homes with these big multi-sliding door systems,” he says. “There are these certain locations where they work great and people actually use them. This is one of them.”
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Indoor-outdoor living exemplified in Santa Barbara.
One of two massive pocketing Series 600 Multi-Slide Door in the master suite increase the residents' living space.
This view of the main living area from inside the master bedroom shows how two 90-degree multi-slide doors seamlessly blend the indoors with the outside.
When open, the main living area's multi-slide doors let the perfect weather of Santa Barbara into the home.
The flying cantilever provides a spectacular effect, says architect Dan Weber.
When closed, the room's multi-slide doors meet at 90 degrees without a connecting post.