Coveted Crib: Montecito Residence

The American Institute of Architects recently recognized this Montecito, CA, home's functional, graceful design when it named it one of 17 winners of its annual Housing Awards Program. Montecito Residence is a single-family home set in the dry, wildfire-prone Toro Canyon. Designed by Seattle-based firm Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects, the Montecito Residence won in the One/Two Family Custom Housing category.

The home's minimalist look is both practical and elegant. Given the fire danger in the area, simple, fire-resistant materials such as steel and concrete reduce the risk of the structure being lost to a wildfire. The architectural firm utilized a raised roof that shields the house from the area's brutal sun. This umbrella-like roof also creates a central hallway that catches off-shore breezes, helping to naturally cool the house.

The minimalism continues on the interior as well, which helps to keep focus on the exterior landscape, and provides open interior spaces for relaxing (as well as for romps for the owner's three dogs). I'm impressed how practical materials, such as steel and glass, showcase the beauty of common-sense architecture and design.

For more photos of this stunning residence, read more.