The Barker Residence, located in Montecito, California is an 11,500 sq ft vision-made-reality by Trevor Abramson and David Pascu (architects of Abramson Architects), Scott Menzel (the landscape architect), DKB Designs (interior designers), and our engineering team at California Energy Designs (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems).
Barker Residence | Luxe Source Magazine Feature of Montecito “European Hill Town” | MEP Engineer
Luxe Magazine Project Coverage (January 2022)
“Destiny having spoken, the couple purchased the property, intending to update its small and dilapidated Spanish-style house into a weekend retreat. But fate intervened again, this time with building codes that required they start from scratch. So the Barkers decided to think bigger—and build a village.” — Luxe Magazine (2022)
The project, recently covered in Luxe magazine, “Visions Of European Hill Towns Come Alive On A Stunning Montecito Site,” consisted of a Spanish-style hilltop abode features a collection of buildings (main house, garage, workshop, and guest house) that seamlessly merge to create a small, old-world style village with all the advantages of modern technology.
designing a village
“Because of the site’s prominence on the landscape—its views stretch so far, the fire department has long used it as a lookout point—the local architectural review board “was very interested in the new house not looking like one big mass … We were, however, allowed to build an unlimited number of accessory structures under 800 square feet … the team started to break up the program into a main house, garage, workshop and guest house with varying rectilinear forms and rooflines. “We invented the narrative of an old European hill town.” —Luxe Magazine (2022)
Nestled between the roaring ocean and sprawling mountains of California, the Barker Residence required a complete redesign for all-season enjoyment of the home. Some distinctive design aspects of the home include floor-to-ceiling corner windows, low-beam wooden ceilings, a glass pivot door, and a deep-covered patio.
modern methods, rustic charm
“The Barkers wanted a modern house, but they liked the feeling of things that had been there a long time … so they started to gravitate toward this concept of an old stone building with a modern infill.” The view of the kitchen from the living room, for example, “is like looking into the shell of a rustic barn, but with a sleek European kitchen inside.” —Luxe Magazine (2022)
Montecito’s winter temperatures (averaging around 40°F), posed a unique challenge for our team to ensure the patio was a comfortable and functional space year-round. Deep coverage would provide cool shade for the residents in warmer weather, but in the winter, without our help, they would be unable to use the patio. Our CED engineers came up with the solution to integrate heat lamps as well as an outdoor fireplace near the patio to allow the family to dine or lounge outside on even the briskest of winter days.
creative engineering, enabling a vision
“In most rooms, where mountain and sea views dominate, floor-to-ceiling corner windows expand the panoramas. But in the den, custom bookcases and low-beamed ceilings create a more intimate feel. ” —Luxe Magazine (2022)
High ceilings, exposed wooden beams, and an open floorplan required our team to devise a novel solution to keep the house’s ductwork hidden and efficient, all while maintaining the desired rustic look. Our team was able to work around the issue by concealing the heating and cooling pumps/ducts within the walls and floors to provide maximum comfort without any eyesores.
Floor-to-ceiling corner windows required our engineers to devise a solution on how to maintain an equilibrium of temperature inside the home, no matter the strength or location of the sun each individual day. The seamless HVAC systems that our team installed make the humidity control and thermal comfort of each section of the village as easy as the click of a button.
See additional coverage of the Barker Residence on Luxe Magazine, in print or online, and on the Abrahamson Architects website.