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Think of it as a house with an outdoor and indoor courtyard.

Like nested boxes, the major indoor and outdoor spaces of this house in Redding, California, surround one another to form a filtering system that softens the heat and glare of a sometimes hot climate. In an area where daytime summer temperatures average 95[degrees]and routinely stay above 100[degrees] for weeks at a time, owner Don Oestreicher wanted a house that would tame the sunlight and heat without losing its link to the out-of-doors.

Looking to such climate-responsive models as the early Western ranch house and the Santa Fe walled courtyard house, San Francisco architect Jerry Lee, of LDA Architects, considered how the sun would enter every major space in and around the house. He adapted some time-honored architectural features and invented others to turn this house into a three-dimensional paradox: a light-filled retreat from the sun. His work offers

remodel to make the most of its geographical setting.

The U-shaped, 3,000-square-foot house sits well back on its fully fenced 97- by 145-foot subdivision lot. A square courtyard forms a focal point on the north side, between the house and the street. The northern exposure keeps the courtyard shady and relatively cool for part of every day.

Just beyond the shade line, lying in full sun, an angular lap pool forms the courtyard's fourth edge. The shallow leg of the pool lines up with the courtyard and the center of the house. Freestanding 5-foot-square trellises flank the steps into the shallow end, supplying additional shade for nonswimmers and framing a view of the dark-bottomed pool ftom the center of the house. Fencing of heavy-gauge corrugated fiberglass maintains privacy but still lets in light.

On the south side of the house, each of the major rooms opens to a house-wide terrace framed by a series of stucco wall sections. Wisteria-covered 3-by-6s tie these wing walls to the house and shade sections of the terrace. The terrace is slightly elevated; it offers a pleasing outlook on a small grove of trees along the lot's boundary.

Inside, the plan is symmetrical. A square living room occupies the center of the house, between the garage-kitchen wing on the east and the bedroom wing on the west. To make this room feel both cool and open, the architect treated it as an interior courtyard, ringing it with a gallery.

The living room is like a Roman atrium in concept, only it is fully roofed, rising to a 23-foot peak, With cutouts at the corners and elsewhere, the walls filter and soften direct sunlight that flows into the gallery from the high windows facing the courtyard and terrace.

As a bonus, the owner discovered that his living room has fine acoustics. Musicians enjoy giving impromptu concerts there.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Feb 1, 1989
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