A total renovation of a Saddle Peak, Malibu residence opened up the home to the natural light and views offered atop this California mountain. But the journey to restoration was not necessarily an easy one for architect Brian Wickersham of AUX Architecture.
“We initially looked at building a new home, but quickly learned that because of an ancient paleolithic landslide, that the county requirements for restraining the hill would be cost-prohibitive and time-consuming,” says Wickersham. “Instead, we devised a plan to work within the existing house footprint and building envelope for a project that would be classified as a renovation.”
With the foundation and rooflines as a guide, Wickersham redesigned the generic tract home to give it a new architectural integrity with bright and open interiors. A composition of dark standing seam metal and vertical grain cedar was used on the existing massing to give the appearance that the building had been cut into three pieces, then shifted side-to-side. The cedar siding also carries from outside to in, bringing warmth to the home and creating a connection between the exterior and interior spaces.
Taking advantage of the stunning views, floor-to-ceiling windows were added, as well as a glass wall in the living room that opens completely to the pool area outside, creating a large continuous space for entertaining.
“Opening up the house to the mountain views became a chief objective,” says Wickersham. “The existing pool footprint was also used, but rather than expanding the pool, it was reduced in size and a new topography and depth were added, with steps to create the sense of the layers of depth” and uniting the feature to its natural surroundings.
As empty-nesters, the homeowners, who purchased the property in the ’90s, were looking for a completely fresh start. As such, everything from the interior of the house was removed, and AUX brought in brand new belongings, from appliances to dishes.
A complete transformation visually, this renovation breathed new life into a beloved Malibu residence.
Photography by Grant Mudford.
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