Members of the project team will be presented with awards from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) during a presentation at the residence on Thursday, July 28, at 4 p.m. Conducted annually by AISC, the IDEAS2 awards recognize outstanding achievements in engineering and architecture on structural steel projects around the country. The IDEAS2 award is the highest, most prestigious honor bestowed on building projects by the structural steel industry in the U.S.

Project team members include owner John and Dorothy Gardner, Montecito, Calif.; architect Barton Myers Associates, Inc., (entered project in awards program) Los Angeles; structural engineer Norman J. Epstein Structural Engineers, Los Angeles; steel detailer, fabricator and erector Anvil Steel Corporation (AISC Member), Gardena, Calif.; general contractor Caputo Construction Corp., Los Angeles; landscape and interior designer Rios Clementi Hale Studios, Los Angeles.

The project is a Merit Winner in the category of projects Less than $15 Million, making it one of only six projects around the country to receive the Merit honor. Each year, the IDEAS2 awards honor National and Merit award winners in three categories, based on constructed value: projects less than $15 million; projects $15 million to $75 million; and projects greater than $75 million. Each project is judged on its use of structural steel, with an emphasis on creative solutions to project requirements; design innovation; aesthetic and visual impact of the project; innovative use of architecturally exposed structural steel; technical or architectural advances in the use of steel; the use of innovative design and construction methods; and sustainable design.

Located in the hills above Montecito, Calif., the residence was designed to take advantage of the site’s prominent features, including majestic oak trees and large boulders. The house is divided into two wings. A public wing includes living, dining and kitchen areas opens up to the main outdoor dining and lounging areas. The second, more intimate wing contains bedrooms, bathrooms and a library, all of which open up to small outdoor courtyards and terraces. The property also includes a lap pool and an existing guest house.

The most striking feature of the house is its expression of exposed structural steel frames and insulated metal panels. Continuing the architect’s ongoing steel residential design investigation, initiated in the 1970s, the Montecito Residence is the fourth completed iteration in an ongoing research project that has been tested for the past seven years in a design research studio in a renowned Los Angeles-based school of architecture. The intention behind the design strategy is tectonic design research that creatively envisions a flexible prototype for mass-produced housing using steel construction and standardized off-the-shelf industrial components.

“This home showcases the greatest advantage of steel design: openness and floor plan flexibility,” commented Duff Zimmerman, operations manager, Cooper Steel (AISC Member), Shelbyville, Tenn., and a judge in the competition.

Because structural steel is manufactured primarily from scrap metal it is inherently a “green” material. After being fabricated offsite, the steel frame can be rapidly erected and does not generate the typical amount of construction waste caused by wood frame construction. The design advances concepts of adaptive space while creating a “kit of parts” that can be assembled into 20-ft modules as an alternative to the manufactured buildings mitigating the unpredictable link of manufactured units to serviced land.

Contrary to most steel-framed buildings – where the steel is ultimately concealed from view – this building was designed so that all of its steel connections could be exposed and visible in the final product. The steel wide-flange columns were designed by the structural engineer as cantilevered posts, fixed below grade by concrete grade beams in two directions, allowing the exposed connections between columns and beams to be elegantly welded as moment frames.

The residence is designed to take full advantage of the indoor-outdoor living made possible by the California coast’s mild climate. Structural steel is particularly well suited to allow for a maximum amount of glazed openings, from large expanses of fixed glass to operable glazed garage doors and sliding doors. Another important factor in choosing materials for this residence, located in a fire-prone area, is steel’s inherent non-combustible nature.

The 14 IDEAS2 winners for 2011 were chosen from nearly 100 submissions received by architectural and engineering firms throughout the U.S. Each submission is reviewed and award winners are selected by a nationally recognized panel of design and construction industry professionals.

The IDEAS2 award dates back over 70 years to the earliest years of AISC’s existence. Roger E. Ferch, P.E. president of AISC, said, “The entire Montecito Residence project team has shown how structural steel can be used to create structures that combine beauty and practicality. The result is a sustainable home that serves its residents extremely well, while providing an example of what can be achieved when designing and constructing projects with steel.”


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.