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Hillside Home in Los Angeles

Sep 4, 2020

Hillside Home in LA

Architects: SAOTA

Location: above Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Hillside Home Los Angeles CA

Hillside Home by SAOTA in Los Angeles is located immediately above Sunset Boulevard on a promontory just one over from Pierre Koenig’s landmark Stahl House.

Hillside Home Los Angeles CA

The site is a 20 000 square foot estate, featuring 300-degree views over the LA skyline and the city basin below, and the design was conceived of more as a self-contained oasis rather than a conventional house.

Hillside Home Los Angeles CA

The Stahl House served as a key point of departure. The forms and articulation of Hillside’s roof planes, which were pushed as far forward as possible so that they could create meaningful external covered living spaces, set its architecture in dialogue with the iconic silhouette nearby and connect it to the drama of its context.

Hillside Home Los Angeles CA Hillside Home Los Angeles CA

The projecting eaves and soffits create a “fifth” façade proved fortuitous in creating a sense of identity because the wraparound perimeter views necessitated the carefully controlled placement of solid walls and extensive use of glass to maximise the panoramic potential of the site. Consequently, the architecture is defined through the floating, overlapping horizontal floor and roof plates curating specific view axes rather than mass walls or external structure.

Hillside Home Los Angeles CA

The steep approach from below resulted in a dramatic entrance through a top-lit central atrium – rising via a 12-car underground garage and an indoor waterfall cascading into a courtyard – before surfacing into the centre of the living level in a dramatic moment of revelation as a dead-on view of downtown LA opens up.

Hillside Home Los Angeles CA

The programme is arranged around this focal view, loosely forming two wings, one oriented east-west, and the other north-south. The largely open-plan interior, in the absence of mass walls, has been articulated vertically and through volumetric changes to rationalise the layout.

Hillside Home Los Angeles CA

References to modernist construction techniques are picked up in the articulation of the steel columns and the sensuous and tactile use of timber and limestone on the floors and wall, which is carried extensively throughout the interior and exterior detailing. Some of the identifying features such as the cut-outs in the roof have been reprised in the detailing of the interior ceilings to add interest.

Hillside Home Los Angeles CA

In keeping with SAOTA’s extensive experience in developing seamless indoor/outdoor open-plan living spaces appropriate to their base in Cape Town, South Africa, where the Mediterranean climate and topography are very similar to that in LA, they conceived of the programme as a series of living rooms connected to extensive covered outdoor terraces.

Hillside Home Los Angeles CA

These outdoor spaces are in turn enclosed by a vast undulating infinity pool and lush landscaping along the perimeter, subtly screening neighbouring properties (and ensuring their privacy) with climbing ficus trees.

Hillside Home Los Angeles CA

Hillside Home Los Angeles CA

In keeping with the principles taken from the Stahl House and the ground-breaking Los Angeles Case Study Houses, which were built between 1945 and 1966, the generous allocation of outdoor space maximises the potential of the liveable climate, reconnecting contemporary LA architecture with a somewhat lost aspect of its Modernist heritage.

Hillside Home Los Angeles CA

Hillside Home Los Angeles CA

Hillside Home Los Angeles, CA – Building Information

Lead Designers: SAOTA
Project Location: Los Angeles, USA
SAOTA Project Team: Mark Bullivant, Philip Olmesdahl, Alwyn De Vos, Eugene Olivier & Conrad Martin
Architect of Record: WOODS + DANGARAN
Project Manager: Park Lane Projects
Contractor: Fortis Development
Landscaping: Chris Sosa
Lighting Design: Lux Populi
Interior Designer: MASS Beverly
Furnished by MASS Beverly & Minotti LA
Artwork: Creative Art Partners
Property Agents: Oppenheim Group & Bond Street Partners

Hillside Home Los Angeles CA

Photographer: Adam Letch
Copy by: Graham Wood

SAOTA Architects

Hillside Home in Los Angeles, CA images / information received 040920

Location: Los Angeles, Southern California, United States of America

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