Project: Hollywood Hills Residence
Architects: Mutuus Studio
Team: Kristen Becker – Project Designer, Renee Boone, CJ Christensen
Design Mentor: Tom Kundig/Olson Kundig c 2016
Interior Design: Kristen Becker, Mia Sara, Jerry Sarapochiello
Built by: Dow Built – Jim Dow, Kaija, Kela Martinez
Landscape Architect: Andrea Cochran
Structural Engineers: Labibe Structural Engineers
Location: Los Angeles, CA, United States
Photography: Kevin Scott
Text by Mutuus Studio
A bespoke home nestled and perched atop a hill in the Oaks in Hollywood hills, the residence was born out of desire for highly considered design within a modest footprint. In consideration of the environment and the desire to simplify, the clients yearned for a smaller footprint for their family residence, much like their New York City Penthouse loft. Inset at a 45 percent slope, the parcel posed a challenge for the design team. Taking cues from the clients’ Irish travels and many visits to great castles, one enters from the top of the site across a wood and steel bridge spanning a secret garden through a monumental Bronze door. Always covered, the secret garden connects shafts of light into the guest bath through a skylight, creating the feeling of a protective fortress. Through the threshold and down the stair, we are welcomed into a great hall of sorts, an ode to the commanding atmosphere of castle. A great hall whose main purpose was for the family to keep connected but serve to all different interest within the household.
The kitchen area is made of blackened steel and walnut veneered cabinets with brass accents. The dining area is made up of caramel leather chairs and Finn Juhl dining table and features a circular, dark central hearth acting as a subtle separative element between the kitchen and living area. The living area is filled with eclectic artifacts featuring African masks, a willy Daro bronze table, and cast from a childhood bone break displayed like a relic. Light pours into the space through the black steel Brombal windows. The far wall of the living area is all glass and looks south and provides a breathtaking panorama of Los Angeles. One of the most notable aspect of the living space is a heavy metal gear and chain pivoting window, not only an opulent gesture that complements the interior objects but also another clever emphasis on the idea of everchanging interweaving space. The pivoting window opens to the east terrace and a secondary dining room and allowing the visitor to zigzag down to the pool and lower guest rooms.
A masterful showcase of experiential choreography that rejects the traditional sequence of backing out of a room and into another. The seamless flow through the overall space, speaks to the designer’s background in dance and an innate instinct when walking through a space.
A perfect fusion of two worlds, old and new with industrial chic and old-world interiors. An impressive achievement that looks to the tradition of medieval Irish castle and incorporates it into a contemporary California lifestyle. A new and different nod to Case Study Houses as the house continues to further explore the ideological image of intersecting spatial realms and portrays a contemporary commanding presence a top the Hollywood hills.
The Hollywood Hills Residence indulges with a double stair, separating the space sequence into private and public quarters. The public continues down to the media, the private on the other hand, introduced the private quarters. All intentionally nestled back into the mountain, cozy and anchored reassuring a level of safety and nurture that marks the end of the performance started at the bridge.
A material palette kept elemental, yet another nod to the castle. Floors and stairs treads are antique fumed oak, walls are cast-in-place concrete or clad in stained cedar siding, as well as accents of blackened steel and copper.
Born out of a desire for modesty, Alto Oak delivers a message of a luxurious California lifestyle yet carefully calculated use of space.