Ryan House, Bird Rock CA


Recently DBRDS completed an single-family alterations & additions project in Bird Rock, CA for the Ryan Family. We were originally contacted by Patrick, a fellow Australian, who was looking for some Aussie design elements & came across DBRDS through a LinkedIn search for modern designers in San Diego.

After some really collaborative design sessions with both Patrick & Julie, the project was approved & finally completed construction earlier this year. The design intent was to maintain the existing 1950’s beach bungalow on the front half of the site and to build an addition along the northern side of the rear yard. This site planning allowed for a south facing living spaces and linear back yard which receives sunlight into both spaces all throughout the day. A second level was designed for a master bedroom & bathroom to take advantage of the horizon views with a deck providing some privacy from the bedroom to the street below.

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Having dropped in during construction many times, as well as driven by the house many more times, we were excited to have Darren Bradley photograph the house for us last month. While Darren was doing his shoot, I had the chance to sit down with Julie to ask some questions about the house, after all at the end of the day we can be proud of our designs and our work, but the end result is to ensure that the family living in the space is happy. I was blown away by the enthusiasm in which Julie has grown to absolutely love the home. So taken by her kind words, I asked both Patrick & Julie if they would send me a couple of sentances telling us about her experience with us, this is what they sent:

“From start to finish, we were in the best hands with Pauly and his team. Their professionalism and creativity was great and as a result, I got a new house with everything I had wanted. Our choice of materials required our designers to have additional skills as we had desired a look but wanted to be considerate to our neighborhood’s style. There is hardly a day that goes by were we do not get an “incredible” from people passing by….Thank you Pauly and Ivan.” – Julie Ryan

“We initially interviewed three designers and found that they just wanted to design the same thing they always did – the kind of house that could be dropped onto any lot, in any part of the world, for any faceless person.  But the moment we saw some of DBRDS’ work, we knew they were different.  Pauly & Ivan took the ideas that we had for our project and turned them into a reality that was far better than we had ever imagined.  They made a point to understand our city, our neighborhood, our lot and the way our family lives.  They considered the sun direction and prevailing wind during different seasons.  They incorporated clever design that doesn’t just look beautiful, it is supremely functional and at one with its environment.  The result is a beautiful home that is timeless because it looks and feels like it ‘belongs’.  We are so happy to have chosen DBRDS and thrilled that this piece of their work ‘belongs’ to us.” – Patrick Ryan

I often use the word ‘collaboration’ with projects, specifically with residences, and this project was such a great example of that. We had a great time on this one, and really appreciate Patrick, Julie and their kids Oliver, Sophia & Adelaide for allowing us to connect with them during this project.

Finally, a huge thank you to our structural engineer Steve Spence from KPFF Engineers. Steve has collaborated with us for almost 10 years and we are always appreciative of his design approach. Like any fantastic partner on a team, he raises our game by saying ‘sure, I can make that work’ to any/all of our ideas, no matter the complexity and we really like that about Steve…he gets us and he gets our design intent.

All photos are © Darren Bradley Photography & we can’t thank Darren enough for his fantastic photos & passionate arguments for all things modern…he truly is an architecture nut, just like us.

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  1. Patrick Ryan

    Darren, incredible photos, they really do justice to Pauly and Ivan’s work. We were not just saying that stuff, the house is incredibly comfortable and practical. The angles, the overhangs, the directions of everything make it function perfectly with the environment. Shade in summer, sun in winter. Almost every day either Julie or I say randomly that we love our house. Not many people get to say that. And as for Steve Spence’s engineering collaboration with the guys, I am a “problem customer” and he is a solution provider! Take another look at the photos. Every ceiling is flat and level out to the eaves or the outside with no interruption from header beams and every roller blind is recessed into a pocket. Every wall where there is a large door is flat and at the same level inside and out with no bump out. It’s like the doors and windows were simply placed in the space between inside and out and that’s how it feels to live in. But of course there was a ton of work to make it like that. Thanks again guys. Patrick & Julie

  2. Thank you all for the kind words about the photography. It was a true pleasure to meet the Ryans, and the house is absolutely beautiful. It was a fun day. Congrats on a beautiful home and a project well done. Look forward to seeing many more projects from the DBRDS crew here in our neighborhood!

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