Topanga House
weekend house
Topanga, USA
The Topanga House was designed for the hot and dry canyon landscape. The house integrates interior and exterior spaces under a single roof plane, small in area but not in presence.

Following the topography, an exposed steel moment frame provides the primary structural system, allowing the walls to be non-bearing and the roof to hover over the living spaces. Wind is used for cooling with clerestory windows and large openings. The large roof umbrella provides solar shading. A concrete block sound wall protects the house from the adjacent roadway, oriented for views.

The steel frame’s spatial armature of 20 feet x 20 feet is generous for residential spaces. The interior is open throughout, with sliding panels in lieu of interior doors. A glass wall entirely opens with the terrace becoming an extension of the interior area.

Additional sleeping and storage spaces were later added, a simple 2 story box with a 14 foot cantilever facing the canyon views.
Dr. Stewart Middler and Antoinette Hubenette
project team
Marc Angélil, Sarah Graham, Sharon Johnston
Mike Ishler