The architect of a new Venice, Calif., multi-story, modern-style house used the siding to give her design more of a residential feel and blend in well with surrounding bungalow-style homes.
Los Angeles-based architect, Gina Moffitt of Kiyohara Moffitt, was tasked with tearing down a tiny bungalow that was her client’s bachelor pad and building a new home for his family. The property is situated in a rapidly transforming Venice, California neighborhood characterized by older, smaller homes.
The clients envisioned a two-story home with a big, open floor plan and a contemporary look and feel. One big design challenge was delivering a multi-story, modern-style home that could comfortably fit in with traditional bungalow-style homes and avoid looking dated a decade or two down the road.
To capture the desired modern style, the materials would be a mix of smooth plaster, black metal windows and doors, lots of glass and smooth siding. These industrial influences could give the structure a commercial look, so the architect needed the siding to warm it up and give the design a more residential feel.
Gina has often used James Hardie® fiber cement products for her projects. To de-emphasize height, this design called for a strong horizontal definition, but lap siding would appear way too traditional. A James Hardie representative introduced her to a new product that fit the bill – Artisan® V-Rustic siding by James Hardie. This fiber cement product delivers the distinctive horizontal lines of wood v-groove siding but with less upkeep. It’s smooth, it strikes a nice balance between traditional and contemporary and it can hold up over time.
Wood siding was never really an option for Gina. “It’s very expensive and high maintenance to do real wood, and this home is not far from the ocean,” she explains. “We really wanted something that was going to hold the paint and be stable.” Unlike wood siding, Artisan V-Rustic siding can hold its finish longer with less maintenance despite fluctuations in humidity and temperature. Plus, it resists damage caused by dry rot, termites and fire.
Strikingly handsome Artisan® V-Rustic siding.
The siding was used as soffit for continuity.
The entire first floor right corner and upper left half of the house are wrapped in Artisan V-Rustic siding. The product is also used as soffit on the underside of projecting shade structures that wrap around the sides of the home. This brings continuity and character to the overall design. The factory-primed siding was painted a custom white. Everything else on the exterior is plaster that resembles concrete.
The installation crew found the Artisan V-Rustic siding faster and easier to install than traditional siding. The proprietary Lock Joint System helps ensure a straight line simply by laying one board on top of the other. The system enables blind nailing which saves time and money while offering the homeowners a more attractive look.
Gina insists on mitered corners for a high-quality look. The combination of the Lock Joint System and the thickness of Artisan V-Rustic siding allow for precision cutting and provide a sharp, crisp corner. The stability of fiber cement, reinforced by the Lock Joint System, helps prevent the mitered corner from opening up, unlike some wood products. The mitered touch, along with the product’s deep shadow lines, gives the home dramatic curb appeal.
The clean, crisp lines, bold geometric style and black and white color scheme present a strikingly handsome façade against the deep blue California sky. Neighbors have commented on how the house enhances the street’s image and the clients are delighted. They feel right at home with its fresh style and sustainability.