Darin Johnstone Architects

Darin Johnstone Architects

Los Angeles, CA


IVRV House

The ‘IVRV’ house is the result of a collaboration between Southern California Institute of Architecture and Habitat for Humanity of greater Los Angeles. It represents the mergence of two complimentary missions; to educate Architects who will imagine and shape the future and to provide simple, decent, affordable housing for all. The house is intended to challenge the status quo of sustainable / affordable housing in both form and content. The SCI Arc student designed and constructed house (directed by Darin Johnstone) strives to answer a typical residential program in an unexpected way. 

The unique characteristics of the house are the result of two main drivers. The design strives to create a sanctuary in a neighborhood where crime and violence are still a concern while synthesizing sustainable features into an overall aesthetic. What appears to be the front of the house is a thickened threshold to an indoor-outdoor entry court protected from the realities of the street by ‘eco-screens’ that shelter the area with a new kind of trellis designed to shade the courtyard, capture energy and clean the air. 

The form of the house comes from an exploration of an unadorned two-story gable roof profile that was transformed to create a livable home and protected outdoor area capitalizing on the full benefits of the California climate and lifestyle. Habitat for Humanity works to create decent, safe, affordable homes for every man woman and child. With this project, we strove to create something that was also delightful, sustainable and inspiring.

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Status: Built
Location: Westmond, CA, US
Additional Credits: Photo credit: Joshua White /