Richard Meier, Ackerberg House, Malibú beach, 1984

Richard Meier, Ackerberg House, Malibú beach, 1984

Richard Meier, Ackerberg House, Malibú beach, 1984 

The Ackberg house design is based on the indigenous courtyard types of California: sunlit courts and a play between verticl and horizontal spaces. It mediates the extremes between the Pacific Ocean and the mountains along the coastal highway, bby maximizing the sea view and minimizing the highway noise

The house is planned in two separate blocks :  The guest and services is one L-shaped enclosed block clad in ceramic tiles or glass bricks, and a separate living and dining wing is a far more open structure with more glass and fewer tile. This block is a huge expanse of curved glass, allowing view in and out of the room.

It clearly differentiates between public and private spaces by having the bed rooms, the guest rooms, the servant quarters and the utility areas in one  block, which entirely composes the private area, and the drawing, dining and informal seating in another block which is purely public and semipublic part of the house.

The progression throgh the house begins at the north wall, and passes through to an internal courtyard with high walls and ondulating, stucco surfaces, intrepretin the experience of mountains at a domestic scale. The living room is a central, dramatic double height space with sliding glass doors, in order to modulate an inflect the californian light. These sunscreens are pulled away from the mass of the house at a roof level to create a transitional space between the house and the terrace. By the time you reach this terrace, with it’s view to the Pacific, the house, sky and mountain become elements in spatial conception which locate the occupant at the junction of nature and the response of arquitecture.


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Bibliographical references :

MEIER, Richard, “Ackerberg house & addition : Richard Meier”, New York : The Monacelli Press, 1996

Reviewed by Gwenolé Le Gafrs, 14/03/2017