Chapter Two Residence

Los Angeles, California
Project Type:
Single Family Residence
7,500 sq. ft.
This single family residence is situated on the outer edge of the Mulholland Corridor and is a response to the surrounding ecologically sensitive area, the Santa Monica Mountains. It is designed as a building that gently steps up the land, stepping with the steep hillside topography as opposed to reshaping it. Challenged by a steep site and the need to lessen the home's visual impact to hikers in the Santa Monica Mountains and Mulholland corridor, the solution is in the use of natural materials and a stepped interlocking design; as well as situating the home at the base of the property (rather than up high for views), where 75% of the property has been newly dedicated to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. The site is greatly underbuilt, and a roof garden further helps it disappear into the landscape. While it is a three-story home, it appears as two. The terraced masses are offset from one another as well as overlapped with retaining walls, creating the appearance of interlocking units. This design also minimizes earthwork and maximizes useable outdoor space. The home carves away a modest outdoor area with living spaces designed to open to the outside. The retaining walls carry from outside to inside the house (rather than cutting away a flat pad), reinforcing the indoor/outdoor connection and better concealing the two ten-foot walls within. The palette of materials is designed to blend into the landscape, with the shift of wood, fiber cement and board form concrete playfully offsetting one another. In this composition, two shifting masses are unique aesthetically, while the unifying element is a glazing wall that interconnects them both horizontally and vertically. This wall is oriented to the living spaces and pool area that terraces down towards the house. Each carefully articulated building element, including the roof garden, introduces a human scale while quietly incorporating the building to the site. Viewed from the hiking trails above, one only sees a landscape.
In Construction
AUX Team:
Brian Wickersham (Principal-in-Charge), Sabina Lira (PM), Ricardo Moura (PA), Jenny Barnish, Jeremy Fletcher, Cody Miner, Jesus Gomez, Burcin Nalinci, Juan Lau
Structural Engineer - Kazarians Engineering Services, Inc, Civil - Pacific Coast Civil, Inc, Landscape Architect - Tack
2019 AIA San Fernando Valley Architecture Awards - Citation and People's Choice