This steel-built house of 1200 square feet (110 square meters), was built for William Beard in Altadena, California. Full-height, sliding glass and steel partitions communicate with a side and a rear patio and to the breakfast nook and kitchen, both of which have a broad view to the Sierra Madre mountains.
Built-in furniture saves considerable floor area and keeps much of the livable area free from obstruction. In spite of the apparently large window area, the amount of direct radiation permitted to enter the interior is limited by roof projections, other overhangs, and curtains that move in a continuous track. A steel stairway leads up to a roof garden.
The concrete floor acts as a radiating panel during the cold season, while convection carries air into the vertical hollows of the cellular steel walls. On the exterior walls exposed to direct solar radiation, small openings admit air currents to cool the walls and minimize heat transmission. The aluminum finish on the exterior appears neat and dignified, much less blinding than light stucco.
From Classic Modern Homes of the Thirties, by James Ford and Katherine Morrow Ford, originally published as "The Modern House in America," copyright 1940. The 1989 edition is published by Dover Publications, ISBN 0-486-25927-7.