Dutra Residence
San Diego, California |
Getting Started in the Dada Spirit A Found Opportunity

This project is a 1,000 sf addition of a new kitchen, master suite, and painting studio. The addition is purposely distinct from its existing 1920's Spanish counterpart. The lightly detailed existing home stands in contrast to the simple beauty of ground concrete block of the newly created room.

When the plans for the addition were chalked out on the ground, it was discovered that 4 dwarf citrus trees lay just outside of the new walls and too close to survive for long. It was decided to relocate them vertically; so that they appeared to merely float up the walls of the new structure and become affixed. In fact, their exact location in plan view was maintained. The trees were simply levitated upward and attached. Sturdy, hot-dipped brackets were fixed to the masonry walls of the addition to hold the wooden pots in place. There is poetry in the lifting and maintaining of the trees. Perhaps in the home resides a mad agriculturalist, one who cultivates on a vertical plane instead of the horizontal.

Published in San Diego Home/Garden (July 2005) and Extensions (Laurence King Publishing Ltd., 2007)

Recipient of American Institute of Architects San Diego Award of Merit (2004), National Concrete Masonry Association Award of Honor (2005) and California Concrete Masonry Association Award of Merit (2005)

Photography by Paul Body