Californian dream: Gluckman Tang’s minimalist poolside guesthouse in La Jolla

Californian dream: Gluckman Tang’s minimalist poolside guesthouse in La Jolla

There’s something about the pool house typology that is inherently Californian. It might be the open spaces and water element that it implies, or perhaps the low scale, single-storey structure that often references modernist gems, such as the region’s iconic Case Study Houses of the 1950s and 1960s. Either way, the pool/guest house genre often conjures up images of lazy Californian afternoons and elegant Slim Aarons-style pool parties; which is exactly what this new completion by New York-based Gluckman Tang brings to mind.

The stylish guesthouse, which also serves as a pool house, has been recently completed in La Jolla, California, as part of the grounds of a larger spec residence. Elegant and small-scale, the building features strong geometry and clean, minimalist lines, which make for suitably subtle drama and confident architecture. Board-formed concrete on the outside creates a warm, tactile feel and visually links the guest house to the main house’s stuccoed facade.

The structure was created using poured in-situ concrete, featuring large openings that seamlessly merge inside and out. Inside, the flowing space includes an open-plan kitchen and living space, flanked by a bedroom on one side, and a bathroom on the other. A second shower room can be accessed from a separate side door from the outside, while the surrounding open spaces have been designed by Carson Douglas Landscape Architecture.

‘The form of the guesthouse is conceived as two concrete “boxes” linked by a slatted wood roof and trellis’, explain the architects. ‘The concrete boxes contain a bedroom and bathroom on the east and a mudroom, laundry and bathroom on the west. They frame a large open space that houses a living area, dining table and kitchenette.’

A generous overhang allows for plenty of shade and outdoor dining and entertaining areas out front, overlooking the water and the house’s green grounds beyond. §

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