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4500 Square Feet Tropical House on a Very Small Lot But With a Garden

Fri, Feb 19, 2010 | Tropical home designs | By Mike

Designed by Rockefeller Partners Architects this house is located off a walk street with great views of the Pacific Ocean and Malibu coastline. Its design is all about a careful space planning. The site is a narrow 30×60-foot area but it includes not only the house but also a garden. This garden is an open green space in the center of the structure at the ground floor level. On one side of this area is a children’s room and a master’s bedroom with a bath. Not only this Zen garden makes the interior to be closer to nature. There are a lot of woodwork that also do so and adds a touch of comfort to the house. [ Rockefeller Partners Architects | Photography by Eric Staudenmaier ]

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  1. Kenn Says:

    For such a beautiful and unique house, the (indoor) furniture seems a little bland and conventional. But I do love all of the built-ins and wood accents. Very crisp and modern, yet warm and comfortable.

  2. Iveta Says:

    Sweet, sweet home :)

  3. Inumidun Says:

    I really like the wood detailing. I didn’t see any children’s rooms or play areas. Must be for adults only. It’s a very lovely home nonetheless.

  4. Andrew Says:

    They are totally assholes can you imagine what the neighbors think compared to their houses and neighborhood

  5. Marco White Says:

    I agree – the architecture is very nice, but the quality and character of interiors are lacking. I also think that, while the wood used architecturally is great, that there is just too much wood everywhere.

  6. john Says:

    well there goes about 12 acres of old growth forest.

  7. Lei Says:

    An average European lot is 30 x 60 ft. That’s not small.

  8. Norman Says:

    Genius! This is gorgeous place! I would live there in a heartbeat!

  9. Pieter Says:

    A real gem. Small but a beauty.

  10. Working Author Says:

    That’s the home I want to live in someday!


  11. truth boy Says:

    Disgusting use of wood – probably imported from south america and harvested from ever dwindling supplies in the rain forest. Id like to beat the architect upside the head with a piece of rare tropical wood.

  12. mr dennis Says:

    man i wish i could build a earth home here in hamburg ny like that i have some great views here.BUT i do love calafornia.i was there in the 1970

  13. mr dennis Says:

    still i can not quit thinking of the buty and ease of your home it even feels like a home

  14. himachal Says:

    OMG! im speechless, wow great post and lovely pictures. im just startled with the pictures. Will take some ideas definitely ,as i am getting a chance to design my dream house.

  15. David Says:

    Nice design but why do these houses never have any storage? It’s like the people who live there have no real lives. Where do they keep their books, their kid’s toys, their collection of knickknacks and whatsits?

  16. Porroman Says:

    I Love it.
    For those who say its lacking on the inside should perhaps take in to account the lack of space and the angles this building has.

    I think its fantastic. Modern yet simple yet minimalist.

  17. Ammar Says:

    What definition of ‘small’ are we using here exactly? Only the elite 0.04% of people can afford a lot that big in my city (Karachi, Pakistan).Some of the commentators are right … this architecture is a parasite for the forests too.

  18. Mrmr Says:

    Make sure you park the Porsche outside the garage for the photo shoot


    If I lived in a place like this it would drive me mad inside a week. Its soleless and there is no character, no warmth, no closets or cupboard space.
    In fact a real shocker. OK for a young couple…until they have kids!

  20. mr dennis Says:

    i just wanted to let you i thought your homes were awsom but one person was right about the storage

  21. eener Says:

    To address some comments here, I’m sure there is (at least some) storage in the home, but usually closets and inhabitants’ personal effects don’t make it into architectural photographs. Overall, a really beautiful home.

  22. Wow Says:

    Oh brother, now wood is a bad thing? What should it be made out of, concrete? Get real! Making metals and plastic consumes more resources than a tree!

    Also, where the hell do you people live? I live on a 3 acre lot and don’t know anyone who lives on a place that small, besides apartments and townhouses and such. and I am definitely not rich. Just because something is common where you live, doesn’t mean it’s not small. That’s SMALL no matter how you look at it.

  23. Joe Says:

    i share gilsons opinion. it’s soulless. looks nice on photos with all it’s right angles, but imagine living in there… the whole place is overly wanting to appeal with wood finishings, marble and “nifty” stuff. it would be like having some douche right next to you all the time who is trying to impress you with the expensiveness of his diamond rings and his tropical tan he got during his all inclusive holiday in dubai…

  24. katerlake Says:

    nice design. great wokr.

  25. Joe Says:

    It looks fine as long as everything is just perfect: light, temperature, etc.
    Photographs well, but no heart. I think living in such a house would be sort of like living in an operating room: sterile and lifeless.

  26. Donna Says:

    It’s a rich mans home alright. Like to see how well it will stand up to the next big earthquake.

  27. Malcolm Parker Says:

    Well first of all, I wouldn’t mind this house myself. That said, the furniture is terribly bland and looks like the sort of compromise fittings you get on boats -but I’m guessing it isn’t. I like the idea of lots of wood, but much of the detailing here makes it look more like chipboard veneer. A lot of the beauty in wood is it’s natural shape and grain and here very little of that is exploited. Finally, in the UK I’d expect planners would try to fit two houses onto such a prime site or 4 flats.

  28. amylou Says:


  29. ttaure Says:


  30. Jaime Says:

    I would kill to live here, seriouslyyyy.

  31. gabrielle Says:

    i cant find the words to describe it
    i hope that when i die, heaven will look like this

  32. ricosauvie Says:

    I found agreement and disagreement with most of the comments. Storage is an issue. This home is for people without children, who entertain. Possibly a weekend get away. None of the views, except for the kitchen and stairway, show more than one side.
    As for the so called plundering of the rain forests, get a life!! Most of the wood is renewable bamboo that grows to maturity in two years. There wasn’t a stick of Brazilian wood to be seen. Know your facts before trashing someone. If you want to complain, do it about taking the beach front away from the rest of the public while having the government pay to clean the beaches along the coast.
    I digress. The house is a little spartan for me. People give a house its soul. This is a new soul looking for character.

  33. jojo Says:

    very nice, but to much wood inside for my taste.

  34. vera Says:

    The home is just amazing

  35. Seremaia Says:

    People build for their reasons and they would have taken into account kids’s needs if that was what they had in mind. I like to see timber in homes because it gives it warmth and character but not overdone though. I really appreciatee the use of space and as for soul, I couldn’t agree more with Paul . A great design for its location I reckon.

  36. Bradley Says:

    Hi ricosauvie

    I don’t see much bamboo unless it’s veneered.

    My first impression was WOW! … if only the architect had known about architectural bamboo – flooring & furniture boards.


  37. imelda Says:

    Very nice and cozy place ,it make me comfortable home with little cleaning maintainance.I agree that there are so much wood that overlap the home design.
    but over all I just love it so much ,it is my dream home!!!

  38. Mike Says:

    great but living there would be awful, imagine all the dusting!

  39. Rando Polo Says:

    A truly gorgeous, amazing home.

    I’m equally amazed at the comments here. Why is there so much hate? What is wrong with most of you? Why can’t you make criticisms without loading them with such reckless negativity? Fake physical threats? Claims of this house being souless? Someone even said this is too small. It’s 4500sf! How large are you that you and your family would NEED more space than that?

    So much negativity. Makes me wonder who is actually lacking “soul”.


  40. Tara Murphy Says:

    Beautiful, simple, clear space. of course they have magazines, signs of life around when photogs aren’t there but this was a photoshoot, fgs, they cleaned/cleared up. I would have more indoor plants, however, more green to work with wood and stone floors. California, and L.A. designers in particular, are very, very conscious of “ecological footprints” in everything from landscaping to construction. Xeriscape gardens (minimum use of water, succulents & cactus, for e.g.) are all over the place. California is eons ahead of most other states in its consciousness about the environment, recycling and preservation. I’m certain the wood came either from sustainably harvested woodland area, or is reclycled from another location.

  41. Colin Perini Says:

    I want to move in immediately.

  42. KJlo Says:

    Concrete is the least environmentally product of all due to the amount of energy and resources required to create it. Not wood which is 100% renewable. Why assume it is from an old growth forest? Unnecessarily spiteful. Jealous anyone? Having said that, I do think the wood is a little overdone for my tastes personally. Otherwise though I do like the Japanese zen meets 50s decor meets Swedish sauna – a mix match of styles all suited to the beach IMO.

  43. Rachael Says:

    It’s a beautiful, well set out property, and compared to European apartments / houses this certainly isn’t small!

  44. Chris Says:

    Not suitable for visiting grandparents; children; pets; and REAL people.

  45. Ores Says:

    Small what?It’s 4500 fucking sq feet.

  46. Mark Says:

    Wow – You can sure tell which posters have an architectural backround and who just wants to set up in some stupid tract house (with lots of storage). This home is exceptionally designed AND decorated.

  47. thedude Says:

    Fucking awesome!

  48. gheuntak Says:

    TOO MUCH WOOD… Pls Try to care some for nature.

  49. Eric Says:

    Looks like they use the term “garden” rather loosely. There’s a “water feature” in the middle of the house from the looks of it. A little bit of natural stone, and a lot outdoor wood. Has the architect never left wood in the weather?

  50. J Sidenei Says:

    Me fez lembrar um velho provérbio : ‘Mais vale uma choupana onde se ri, do que um palácio onde se chora” – Agora, um palácio onde se ri deve ser o supra-sumo da felicidade.

  51. vincent Says:

    i love this house and the use of wood. (maybe a little too much wood.) if you are going to cut a tree down this is the best possible use for it, to be admired for decades to come. BUT please…..30ft x 60ft block i don’t think so. the block is 30 ft wide but it is 100 ft long! the house is 80 ft long. don’t believe me? go to google earth and measure it with their tool.
    4500 sq ft divided by three floors equals 1500 sq ft which is 60ft x 25 ft leaving no pace at front or rear. there seems to be a good ten feet at the front, plus that zen garden. is that being counted by three?
    again i LOVE this house, but please….

  52. Camille Says:

    SMALL LOT? The square feet is double the amount of mine. Haha. This house is really beautiful, amazing ocean view, though I do agree with whoever said there would be ALOT of dusting to do every week! Better buy a backup Swiffer Duster! :)

  53. New Yorker Says:

    Not for nothing, but 4500 square feet is ENORMOUS! That anyone would call this a small home, or a “weekend getaway” is a testament to how out-of-touch with the everyday working American the upper classes have become.

    That said, it is a beautiful home.

  54. kittiecattie Says:

    Did no-one read the text?

    “…On one side of this area is a children’s room and a master’s bedroom with a bath.”

    So, I guess, there ARE children living there, they only photographed the bits of the house that would really appeal to architects and designers. Quit your whining.

  55. Ozgun Says:

    You design a beautiful, minimalist, sleek gorgeous house and you put a white wc with non-concealed cistern that also looks like crap?

    What were the Rockefeller Partners Architects thinking? At least check out some Villeroy & Boch or VitrA models…

  56. Shrikrishna Meena Says:

    This is totally awesome design, nice work by architect.

  57. Daniel S. Says:

    I came across this site on stumbleupon. I love the architecture and layout of the home. To all the retarded environmentalists that posted stupid crap on this site; I lived in the rainforests of West Africa for 5 years and let me tell you from personal experience, the “deforesting” of the rainforests are propaganda and media driven. There is no mass destruction or wide spread leveling of the forests, I promise you that. They (the loggers) cut down what is necessary to export and utilize, that’s it. Grow up, do your own unbiased review, and move on with your lives. If you want to be passionate about something choose the malaria epidemic…much more widespread and not to mention more deadly.

  58. Leo Says:

    Nice Crib

  59. G Says:

    This is bound for unhappyhipsters.com

  60. Gilson chapple Says:

    I have already posted a comment above but I have not changed my opinion.
    The house is far too clever for its own good. I’m a ‘wood person’
    ….I love wood.(see web site)but the use of wood in this house is far too ‘over the top’ and the design is so gimmicky its trying to say ‘Look I am a clever designer and I can design a modern house!’
    This house is so bloody dreadful: I think the person who designed it should design wardrobes, closets,and garden benches. Did you notice how the stair rail was made, with a cheap looking metal bar holding it up? How gross is that?
    It would drive me insane living in this ‘timber shop’ of a house. In my view probably the worst design I have ever seen. It looks like A poor mans James Bond GARDEN BENCH KIT.

  61. Miguelito Says:

    Old growth can be cut down, as long as it is reforested. Secondarily, I liked the Porsche parked in the driveway,it really explains the materials used. Like many modern homes the furniture is over simplified, but it shoots well in photographs and really accents the modern style.

  62. S. Harris L. Says:

    Nice design and execution. One question… with everyone so close-up, what’s the fire and police protection like? You’re no safer here than your neighbors’ abilities to avoid accidents. For this reason we avoid crowded living conditions with their compromised and diluted safety protection.

  63. Anna Says:

    An architect designs the house in the best way possible with whatever is available to him/her. The ‘SOUL’, character and personality is brought in by the residents. They, the family, then customize the space in their own way adding their own trinkets. An architect designs a house, it is made a home by the people in it
    So all you haters, its easy to diss this wonderful abode, try designing one, i guarantee your balls will be in your mouth in a couple of hours.

  64. barbecue Says:

    that looks like such a larger house than it is. But I know how camera angles can decieve
    Nice house none the less

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