At home with architect Kevin deFreitas
A Top Chef’s home kitchen, a master mixologist’s home bar, a stylist-to-the-stars’ home closet, a celebrated interior designer’s home décor and a prominent architect’s, well, home, beg the question -how do professional San Diegans bring their work home? Open their doors and see.
Born and raised in San Diego, architect Kevin deFreitas designed many of the county’s most attractive buildings, but perhaps the one that means the most to him is his family’s Point Loma home, which he constructed with the help of his father.
“It took about 20 months and we did it together,” deFreitas says. “He knows how to use tools, and I don’t. So my biggest skill on the project was just writing checks. It was a fun experience.”
The shotgun-style (narrow, rectangular) house measures 18 feet wide by about 90 feet long and offers an insane view of downtown. Constructed using sustainable materials, it uses solar energy to generate 80 percent of its own power and 100 percent of its hot water. It’s flooded with natural light and has 40 feet of sliding glass doors that open to the backyard, creating a seamless flow from indoors to outdoors.
“All summer, the doors are open,” deFreitas says. “We’ve got a couple of cats, a couple of dogs, chickens and kids and neighbors. Everyone just comes and goes. It’s super-casual Southern California living.”
No pane, no gain
“We salvaged some windows from the Teledyne Ryan factory that used to be on Lindbergh Field,” deFreitas says. “That’s where B-24 Liberators were made during the war. The house that was originally here was owned by a test pilot for Teledyne Ryan who flew that airplane, so it’s this cool full circle.”
“Originally, the house was just a long bar, with my home office and the garage as a separate structure,” deFreitas says. “The city said it looked like two homes on one lot, and I had to connect them. Now, this skybridge connects on the upper level.”
See the light
“Because of the way it invites light in, the house totally changes with the seasons,” deFreitas says. “There are always shadows from the trees on the floor and walls. It’s like a simple, natural canvas that’s always changing.”
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