PDO House

This house draws design inspiration from its ocean sunset view- unobstructed throughout the year. There is an exceptional view of Dana Point harbor, Catalina and San Clemente islands. The building is aligned with equinox, and openings and building elements articulate with the ocean view and the solstice sunsets.
The half acre property is constrained by steep topography with standard set-backs, and a 25 ft. height limit. The undeveloped lot did not have a pad for a construction staging and a temporary road was required to grade the site and create the foundation pad. The building design sits on the property within inches of the city mandated constraints- no variance was obtained to build. Approach is from the top down. In the heart of the structure, a stairwell/lightwell provides access and daylight to the lowest level. At each level, the building spills onto the surrounding slope via terraces, porches and decks. The top level is a garage, office, and formal sitting room. The middle level of the building contains all social functions and links to a substantial terrace for dining and entertainment. The lowest level contains all sleeping quarters. The project budget was limited to 260/s.f. The floor area is also modest 1850 s.f. livable space and 520 s.f. garage. The structure is a hybrid concrete and wood frame sitting on a caisson foundation. About 60 of the structure was built with Insulated Concrete Foamwork ICF- a product made largely of recycled plastics that when filled with concrete provides an R-value of 60. The building is insulated at least 250 above energy requirements to maintain a comfort zone of 70F/-5 degrees year round with outside temperature extremes ranging between freezing and 95F. Additionally all appliances are Energy Star rated. Construction was executed by the owner/architect/builder, consequently the design utilizes easy-to-install, readily available systems and materials. Portions of the work were performed by sub-contractors such as the superstructure, plaster work, and plumbing. The exterior of the building is wrapped with plaster, cement board, and titanium clad composite roofing.


Project Type


San Clemente,