In early 1994, the architects began work on the project and while in construction (demolition, grading and foundations) the owner, due to circumstances beyond his control, halted all construction of the project. Seven years later the owner returned to the architects and asked them to complete the partially constructed house. Due to code changes, city ordinances and a wide variety of obstacles it was determined that the house was unable to be completed as originally designed.
After much consideration the client asked the architect if it were possible to alter/remodel the partially constructed house, which was a remodel/addition to a 1970’s ranch style house, into a project that fit into current zoning and structural codes. The owner also requested that the house’s footprint and partially constructed foundations remain to avoid the need for further entitlements and delays on an already long overdue and difficult hillside site.
The architects’ main challenge was how to alter the design that reflected an outdated philosophical approach to architecture that was nearly a decade old. How could the house be re-conceived reflecting the architect and client’s maturity on a ten-year-old footprint?
The answer was to remove almost all of the previously proposed existing interior walls and transform the existing footprint into a pavilion-like structure that allows the site to in a sense “pass through the house”. This allowed the client to take better advantage of a limited and restricted building area while capturing extraordinary panoramic views of the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood Hills. Large 22-foot high custom sliding glass doors allow the interior and exterior to become one. Even the studio is separated from the house and connected only by an exterior bridge. Private spaces are treated as loft-like spaces capturing volume and views while maintaining privacy.
Limestone floors extend from inside to outside and into the lap pool that runs the entire length of the house creating a horizon line at the edge of the view. Other natural materials such as board formed concrete, copper, steel and cherry provides softness to the objects that seem to float within the interior volume. By placing objects and materials “outside the frame,” a new frame of reference deepens our sense of perception. Art does not reproduce what we see; rather it makes us see.
Location: Hollywood Hills / Studio City, California, USA
Architect: Brooks + Scarpa (formerly Pugh + Scarpa)
Principal- in-Charge: Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA
Project Team: Angela Brooks, AIA, Jackson Butler, Silke Clemens, Vanessa Hardy, Ching Luk, Project Architect, Gwynne Pugh, AIA, Lawrence Scarpa, Katrin Terstegen
Gordon Polon – Structural
Helfman Halloossim – MEP
General Contractor: RJC Construction – John Cordic
Surface area: 4,700 sqft
Photographer: Marvin Rand
AIA Los Angeles Award, 2007