Arshia Mahmoodi - RO54, minimizing the environmental and visual impacts of the project
  1. Home
  2. Award 2023
  3. House
  4. RO54, minimizing the environmental and visual impacts of the project

RO54, minimizing the environmental and visual impacts of the project

Arshia Mahmoodi

House  /  Completed
Arshia Mahmoodi

The core concept was to reduce the massing of a rather large project, for it to lodge within the hollow neighborhood proportionally and to demonstrate the power of design within the confines of stringent regulations, while adhering to the highest performance standards.

The design utilizes a split-level configuration that follows the topographic context of the site, where half-story floor plates fluidly connect all the functions of the house in vehement transparency. New adjacencies both visual and functional are formed, by means of oblique circulation over a central void allowing twice the utility of a traditionally dissected assemblage.

The design vocabulary was informed by streamline automotive aesthetics, proposing every technology in the house to have exponent performance discreetly.

This affluent neighborhood that has been aging for the past 60 years is a prime destination for high-end developers to convert outdated properties that are generally “under-developed” in their terms into high-priced products. Since the cost of construction is fairly uniform, profits from a high-priced neighborhood is generally greater than other parts of the city, especially for those developers building with lower quality design and materials.

Our design set itself to depart from this trend and to emphasize how spatial quality and the longevity of components can deliver a product that is distinguishable from its predecessors. It also aimed to set an example of how visual literacy can humanize the scale of a project.

The project emphasized the use of native plants, enhancing the local ecosystem and wildlife habitat. It adhered to dark sky standards by employing minimal exterior lighting, ensuring downward or concealed lighting. Bird collision design strategies were employed, such as minimizing glass railings and using reflective gray tinted glazing.

To reduce its carbon footprint, various measures were implemented. These included optimizing materials and systems, such as incorporating flyash in the concrete substructure, minimizing the use of carbon-intensive materials, and reducing the overall use of finish materials. The architectural design prioritized exposed concrete walls, lean engineering for the structural design, and maximizing the use of wood framing.

The project seeked to minimize the environmental and visual impacts of the project globally and on its immediate context through responsive and adaptive measures that ensured compatibility with the natural site and its microclimate. These measures included atmospheric optimizations by means of thorough cross-ventilation, climatization by way of a subterranean podium, bio-diversity of plants and localized aerodynamic influence of the form. Additionally, the design sought to reconceptualize the conventional compartmentalized assemblage of a residential unit through strategic design interventions.

To expedite access to various spaces within the program, we employed a twofold approach. Firstly, by examining the problem on a horizontal plane, we systematically eliminated unnecessary divisions, thereby establishing interconnected spaces that lacked physical segregation. As a result, direct visual connectivity was established among most areas within the dwelling, significantly reducing the time required to access information in different parts of the house.

Secondly, we tackled the physical aspect of the problem by focusing on the vertical structure of the building. By vertically shifting the floor plates, we generated a configuration of half planes, enabling more efficient movement and spatial connectivity that effectively halved the vertical distance required to access other stories within the house.

The project has become a landmark design in the neighborhood and surrounding areas. It has been a significant attraction and an example of well designed, comfortable, efficient and homely architecture. It has also been well executed with minute attention to detail with a minimal design that maximizes the utility of the property greatly.


 Los Angeles
 California, USA
 Mike Parsee
 Private Residential
 623 mq
  5,355,000.00 $
 Arshia Mahmoodi
 Arshia Mahmoodi / Xinlei Li / Yuheng Huang / Fang Cui / Ruby Wu / Zhishan Liu
 Domaen Build Inc
 Structural Engineer: BOLD Engineer & Associates Inc. MEP Engineer: GMEP Engineers Civil Engineer: GreyStone Engineering Group Inc. Soil Engineer: Hillside Inspections, Inc.
 Paul Vu / Renee Parkhurst / Yuheng Huang


Founded in 2006, Arshia Architects is an architecture and design practice that emerged from the tectonic breach of the aesthetic experience and the act of building - purposely fusing this gap with novel substance.

Our Los Angeles-based practice is dedicated to the exploration of space and the built environment. We are committed to new ways of thinking in space that provide unique solutions to the complex challenges and parameters that affect architecture. We collaborate with often disparate disciplines, entering a dialog with the built environment, believing that such partnerships will create emergent qualities in architecture.

© Maggioli SpA • THE PLAN • Via del Pratello 8 • 40122 Bologna, Italy • T +39 051 227634 • P. IVA 02066400405 • ISSN 2499-6602 • E-ISSN 2385-2054
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® is a trademark of Monotype ITC Inc. registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and which may be registered in certain other jurisdictions.