This residence rethinks the typical Los Angeles, postwar, tract home neighborhood, with a unique street presence and a surprising sense of expanded interior volume that sets a new standard for a contemporary, semi-urban home. An unexpected double-story curved hall begins at the forecourt and runs the length of the residence to create transcending relationships among internal and external living areas. This curved, 52-foot sky-light runs along the East-West axis linking the house to the entire length of the site. Its geometry is reflected with the long narrow pool, that extends into the house with a seamless glass alcove. Translating the sun’s movement and intensity from sunrise to sunset, the long skylight creates a transcendent quality of space – one that is closely attuned to the delicate shifts in sunlight that constantly occur. A sunshade made of prismatic, polycarbonate panels creates a semi-shaded condition, lighting the interior volume with reflected and refracted conditions of light. The ambient light of the residence changes throughout the day and the seasons, providing a strong connection to the cycles of the environment. The hall becomes a viewing device, allowing for both surprising internal and external connections. Although the residence is bisected by the hall and the pool, the curved geometry and open ground floor plan provide visual reconnections through the site to maximize the apparent interior volume. Movement occurs along the curve, converging and diverging at threshold moments, creating sinuous pathways that are punctuated by city views, framed within the vertical slot of space. A sculptural stair is both grounded and floating, while a second floor transparent glass bridge hovers over the hall, transmitting multiple lighting effects that enhance the ambient qualities of light. The open ground floor plan of the residence provides new connections between house and the site to maximize the apparent interior volume, while the extension of the pool provides an extended perspective creating an open-privacy on the ground floor that transforms the boundaries of the small site while creating a garden oasis.
Gross Floor Area (mq)345
ArchitectsGriffin Enright Architects
Design teamJohn Enright, FAIA, LEED AP/ Margaret Griffin, FAIA
Photo CreditsBenny Chan
The Los Angeles-based firm of Griffin Enright Architects, established in 2000 by Margaret Griffin, FAIA and John Enright, FAIA, fuses interests in innovation and experimentation with a desire to explore cultural complexities relative to the built environment. Their versatile practice includes projects ranging from museums, and institutions to master plans and housing in America and Asia. Dynamic form, movement and spatial complexity are combined with a fine attention to detail, building performance, and ability to think out of the box to create new experiences that transforms the environment.