safdie rabines architects, san diego

This studio addition creates an airy, light-filled workspace for an artist client. But it also enhances the existing house's relationship to its rugged site—a feat that particularly impressed the judges. “It has embraced the outdoor world in a phenomenal way,” said one.

Architects Taal Safdie and Ricardo Rabines envisioned the new addition as a bridge jutting out from the main house, which they designed back in 1994. The studio spans a shallow arroyo next to the house, easing the way to a previously hard-to-reach hillside. “One of the ideas [behind] putting the addition there was to give the owners access to a really beautiful part of their property,” Safdie explains.

Concrete piers and site-built trusses support the structure, and enormous sliding doors on either side let the owners open the project almost completely to its external environment. “There's minimal impact on the site,” one judge raved. “It's a glorious space.”

principals in charge: Taal Safdie and Ricardo Rabines, Safdie Rabines Architects
project architect: Charles Crawford, Safdie Rabines Architects
general contractor: Dana Cavanaugh, Cavanaugh Construction, Coronado, Calif.
landscape architect: Leslie Ryan, Leslie A. Ryan, Landscape Architect, Eugene, Ore.
project size: 1,200 square feet (addition only)
site size: 3 acres
construction cost: $348 per square foot
photography: Undine Pröhl