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A Hidden Corner Retreat
California’s perfect weather is one of the reasons it has been a dream and destination for people for over a century. The clients red brick home in Los Angeles had the architectural complexity of Queen Anne Revival and sense of peace of an English country estate, and the sun-kissed gardens that can only belong in California.
The rear of the house is shaped like a U, with a private patio tucked close to the house. A small round balcony sits over a window-lined, catty-cornered patio door. A second story bay window flanks the door on the right; another wide balcony sits to its left. A wall of windows faces the door and balconies on the far side of the U. That small seating area gets a significant amount of sunlight as well as rain. The homeowner uses that patio frequently for entertaining, and wanted to be able to use it in sunny weather along with the few rainy days in southern California.
The Rimini was the perfect choice because it is a series of awning beams which can be installed against wall-to-wall (or, in this case, wall-to-soffit) and does not require posts. Because of the tight space and architectural elements, it was crucial to install a cover system without posts.
The Rimini was installed at a very steep angle, from the soffit just under the eave at the top of the second floor, over the balcony, to the wall between the first and second floors on the far wall under the bank of windows. Because the angle was so steep, specialized brackets were installed to support its weight and the sharp angle; special scaffolding was used to install it. A drain was installed at the front (low point) of the awning to control runoff around the patio.
When extended, the awning canopy covers the second floor balcony and the entire patio seating area; when retracted, the canopy completely disappears for open space, with just the two beams remaining in place. The total size is sixteen feet wide and 22 feet projection (wall to wall).
The homeowner selected Ferrari Precontraint fabric; this is fire resistant and sturdier than woven fabrics so it handles rain very effectively. This not only allows the homeowner to use the space in changing weather, from rain to hail to sunshine -- he also decided to install outdoor heaters so he can use the space comfortably (and safely) even in winter.
Even the small details of the awning construction are well adapted to beach climates. The operating components have been tested for salt spray corrosion, and the aluminium frame is inherently rust-resistant. The frame design rates a 10 on the Beaufort wind load scale (up to 63 mph), so the awning can be extended even in a storm.