Project Name: West Hollywood House
Architecture: Arshia Architects
Lead Architects: Arshia Mahmoodi
General Contractor: Sea Pac Engineering, Inc
Structural Engineer: BOLD Engineer & Associates Inc.
Project Designer: Ruben Dalia Jr, Scott Kepford
Soil Engineer: Garcrest Engineering and Construction, Inc.
Location: West Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California, United States
Area: 1870 ft²
Photo Credits: Paul Vu
The design emphasizes the aesthetics of an object as an intrinsic value over concepts of architecture as a neutral placeholder for human activity. This concept is rooted in the fertility of design on its own and its transformative power, both socially and economically.
The basic concept for the design stems from the application of quantitative and qualitative parametric variables as applicable to its context. These variables begin with quantitative criteria such as the orientation of the building for solar optimization and noise reduction, to qualitative criteria such as respecting the views of the adjacent neighbors.
The directionality of lines in architecture has power due to the gravitational forces exuded by the earth and foreseeable forces of nature such as earthquakes. Horizontal architecture is more difficult to realize and build than vertical architecture. When the mass tectonics are shifted horizontally, not only does this mass break and diminish in scale, but it also relegates power and excitement to its reader. The spatial arrangement is derived from peeling and lifting the landscape in a spiral order to shape the floor plates of the project that follow the natural topography of the land in a split-level configuration.
Through a series of operatives that imbue actants, the primary mass is shifted to allow for proper orientation and integration with the communal space. These operatives provide for an internal/external living space, through setbacks on the ground floor or by orienting the openings toward the street. The garage is also oriented to allow direct access to the building.
The main challenge of this project was to maximize the performance both in function and spatial on a very small triangular-shaped lot with a slope. The zoning regulations applied challenging conditions to this two-family zoned site that would’ve made the project unfeasible with a traditional side-by-side approach to massing.
The West Hollywood House was designed as two intertwined units, shaping along a spiral continuum platform, that starts at ground level and extends to the roof. This allowed both units to take advantage of yards and deck while having uniquely separate presence and entrances from two street sides. The two units operate independently and in single-family residences without having privacy or access to either compromised by each other.
Brown site infill strategy. Dense urban development in close proximity to public transportation. Favorable solar orientation. Site run-off and rainwater capture system. Photo-voltaic power generation and storage. Low flow plumbing fixtures. Low VOC materials.