AIA|LA Monograph Tour: David Hertz’ Venice Beach
Sunday, October 5, 2014, 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Venice Beach, CA
AIA|LA Monograph Tour: David Hertz’ Venice Beach

Advance ticket sales for the Sun October 5, 2014 AIA|LA Monograph Tour closes at 4pm, Saturday, October 4, 2014.

If you purchased advance tickets and did not receive them in the mail or if you would like to purchase tickets on the day of the tour, please visit the WILL CALL location, which is located at the 2911 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291 on the day of the tour.

Day-of Tickets cost $85 and the ticket contains addresses/directions/maps to the other three homes.

  • Will Call Location2911 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291
  • Will Call Hours: Open from 11 AM - 1 PM (tour goes on until 4:30 PM)


When: Sunday, October 5, 2014
Where: Venice Beach, CA
Who: David Hertz, FAIA founder of Studio of Environmental Architecture (S.E.A.)

Typically architects release a body of their work through monograph books, but AIA|LA is now bringing those books to life with our second AIA|LA Monograph Tour installment of David Hertz, FAIA founder of Studio of Environmental Architecture (S.E.A.).

A huge influence on Venice Beach architecture, David and S.E.A. focus on the design and construction of environmentally responsible residential and commercial buildings, and engage in multiple facets of design, including product design, furniture design, public sculpture, environmental consulting, as well as the research and development of resource efficient ecologic building products.

Rent a bicycle and join us in a tour 5 amazing David Hertz designed homes in Venice Beach, concluding at the architects' very own residence for a Q&A.

***Looking for Docents: If you would like to help manage the Tour and docent in one of these amazing homes, please contact AIA|LA Events Coordinator, Will McKenna at ***

Introducing the Homes:

Floating House

The project is located on a small, 37 foot wide lot on a pedestrian "Walk Street" in Venice, CA. Two buildings attached are by an open-air bridge to create a courtyard space to give the occupant the feeling of being outside or underneath the second floor while maintaining privacy. The ground floor extends from the exterior courtyard into the interior and vise versa to blur the definition of interior and exterior space.
A large exterior 2-story chimney wall frames the terminus of the courtyard while concealing the adjacent 2-story neighboring residence. Walls on the first floor are intentionally held from touching the ceiling of the second floor to allow for a clear line of site over neighboring residences and giving the illusion that the second story is floating above the first floor. The mass of the second floor elevations is divided into positive and negative spaces that reinforce the destabilization of the wall plane.
A continuous skylight, that opens to serve as a shaft to facilitate stack effect ventilation, frames the stair that floats from the ceiling of the second story. The exterior walls of the second story are covered in a smooth, steel troweled, integrally pigmented stucco and turn inside horizontally to form the interior ceiling of the first floor further emphasizing the weight of the "floating" mass above.

Pacific Navy House

This private residential compound sits on 3 large lots at the intersection of Pacific Ave. and Navy St. which is the first street into Venice from Santa Monica, as such this project serves as a gateway to Venice. Because the intersection is very noisy the concept was to use large tilt up concrete slabs to create an acoustical and visual wall to reinforce the edge condition between the street and the residence.
The residence uses large sliding glass and wood walls to create ground floor interior and exterior spaces. Structures are pushed to the site extremities to allow for outdoor spaces which become continuous to the interior when opened.
Abundant natural light along with solar hydronic radiant heating, solar thermal and electrical systems and storm water collection and reuse make this project a state of the art sustainable building and harmonious California living.

Panel House

The house is located on 28 x 89 foot lot on the Ocean Front Walk in Venice Beach. Due to the lots’ long and narrow dimensions, the design intent is to create a series of angled walls and reveals in the side elevations in order to provide for view corridors down the side yards to the ocean.
By omitting interior walls, natural ventilation air paths can flow from the Ocean Front through the entire interior and out the Leeward side of the building. To create the clear span spaces, a steel building system of wide flange steel columns and beams, diagonal brace frames with composite steel and concrete decking and concrete slabs are used to create a rigid diaphragm so that no shear walls are required.
The building’s skin is made of pre-fabricated panels, these panels are manufactured out of 6-inch thick foam skinned with thin sheet aluminum that is painted with a Kynar paint finish. The panels are 30 inches wide x 30 feet tall and weigh less than a hundred pounds each. The panels are designed with a dull aluminum finish creating a surface that has a subtle reflectivity of the changing colors of the sky and sunsets.
A system of aluminum louvers was designed to minimize the solar gain and provide privacy. The rooftop contains photovoltaic panels, solar panels and a never-ending pool. Space is tight on this narrow lot, and requires the use of every available surface to achieve the sustainability, functionality and the desired quality of life.

Butterfly House

The Butterfly House in Venice Beach California resides on a 40' x 90' end lot. The name of the house is derived from the butterfly roof which is formed to collect rainwater for irrigation. The main concept of the house, was based upon maximization of the long south facing elevation to create a dark solar absorbent surface and to provide exposed solar thermal heating with evacuated tubes used as an architectural accent. 
On the outer edge of the property is a 90 foot long 8 foot tall double- sided living vegetative wall with durable drought tolerant succulents on the southern face at the street, as an offering to the community, while the inside surface facing the house is a living wall of edible landscape providing herbs and vegetables for the occupants. The house takes advantage of natural ventilation and prevailing breezes through a high solar chimney and stair tower as well as thermostatically controlled operable windows that cool the interior. The house also has solar photovoltaic panels which along with advanced lighting controls the state-of-the-art information systems throughout the house creates a zero net energy building.

Californication House (Architects Home & Q&A)

This residence, home to Hertz and his family, was designed in two phases. The first phase featured two separate volumes connected by a bridge. Some years later the adjacent lot became available. It is now a compound made up of four discrete two-story buildings linked by three enclosed bridges that all face onto the courtyard, in a style one might call Balinese Modern.
Hertz used this house as a case study for green building techniques. An array of 20 solar collector panels on the roof help generate about 70 percent of the home’s electricity needs, and other sections of the roof are given over to flat-plate collectors that provide hot water to the water heater, which then sends it into a radiant heating system in the concrete floors.
This building is a successful study in architecture that is both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally responsible and was rewarded the Sustainable Living Award by the Eco Home network.