Case Study:
Dutch Retreat

Whole House Project: Dutch Treat

Concept: This modern American cottage in northern European style was built from the ground up on an abandoned “flag” lot in the Arroyo section of Pasadena. The lot, empty since 1947, was transformed from a rocky, multi-level, forgotten space into a magical environment hidden away at the end of a long gravel drive. The difficulty of bringing utilities 250 feet from the street to the house, as well as the uneven terrain of the lot, and three giant 150 year-old Oak trees located in the 12,500 square foot minimum lot posed a daunting challenge for the CBA design team.

The cottage takes its inspiration from northern Europe, where Cynthia Bennett lived for 16 years, and features an open kitchen and great room with free access to the front patio and gardens.

Green: The goal with this house was to create an energy-efficient, environmentally friendly “green” house of universal design (All thresholds level, showers flat-to-floor, 35” wide doorways, and the main living space on one floor.)

The green concept includes energy-saving maximum insulation (the first in Southern California to use non-formaldehyde insulation), zoned air-conditioning, double-paned glass throughout and “E” glass on all south facing windows. The house has a water purification system that eliminates chlorine from drinking and bath water, solar tubes providing ambient light without electricity, plus “Energy Star” appliances, furnace and water-heater that combine to make this Southern California’s first Energy Star house.

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