The interior palette is simple, even stark: concrete floors, gypsum board walls and ceilings, and exposed laminated-veneer lumber joists in the corridors and other areas. Colorfully glazed Heath clay tile punctuates specific areas: blue for the kitchen, and blue, pink, and yellow for the bathrooms. The exterior is even simpler, with the roof and siding of the boldly geometric volumes sheathed in copper shingles that act as a rainscreen while protecting the wood-framed structure from fire like a protective armor.
Designed by Los Angeles–based TOLO Architecture, the Branch House brings a village of abstract domestic forms to a typical suburban enclave in Montecito, Calif. The 4,400-square-foot single-family residence sits on a 1-acre site on a cul de sac. A series of eight rectangular volumes, each with a skylight, enclose a living room and dining room, a kitchen, a two-car garage, an office, two bedrooms, a master bath, and a powder room, respectively, and are deployed in a nonorthogonal layout across the site. The positioning of each balances the desire for occupant privacy as well as views of the surrounding landscape. Meandering glass-lined hallways connect the volumes and act as galleries for the client’s art collection.