Location: Pasadena, Calif.

Contractor/Designer: Douglas Ewing, D.S. Ewing Architects, Pasadena

Well-known architects designed this 1956 midcentury house, but the post-and-beam structure had been abandoned for a few years. Though the original home was too decayed to save, architect Douglas Ewing designed a contemporary post-and-beam house that maintains more than 10% of the original floor plan.

To create a secluded entry on the western side of the house, Ewing used clerestory windows set high above red-cedar-clad walls. The judges praised this clever privacy solution. The custom-made entry door is Honduran mahogany.

The judges also admired how the building seamlessly fits in the landscape. By adding a full lower level, the architect doubled the size of the original 1,300-square-foot house while adhering to Pasadena’s restrictive hillside ordinances and strict fire codes.

Set between 6-by-6-inch posts that are 9-feet high and 8-feet on center, glass walls along the east side of the building take advantage of surrounding views. Almost all the rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows with the mountain scenery as a backdrop. On the exterior, three levels of aluminum grating decks allow the home­owners to connect with the outdoors.

Aluminum grating screens help control sunlight and heat admission. Ewing also designed the casework, tables, benches, planters, and landscaping.

—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.