PACIFIC PALISADES HOUSE 01 | CALIFORNIA | 2008

This small addition in the Pacific Palisades began with the owners’ wish for a place from which they could view the entirety of the property, a lot situated between two frontages by hillside gymnastics. Connecting to the existing patio and located above a detached garage, the deck will become the home’s main gathering space. Because of the extreme nature of the site, the top of the deck is located 24’ above the garage floor, affording an in-between space to be used as an extra room, be it yoga studio, study, or residential lounge. As the project was conceived of as a deck above a garage, the space between has been articluated as a transparent room hovering between trees to the north, vined trellis to the east, and terraced yard to the south. To mitigate such conditions as western sun, traffic noise and neighbors’ wandering eyes, the front (or west) facade of the project utilizes a layering system to buffer the interior. From the inside out, one first encounters a small platform which the owner will use as an interior orchid planting area. Set beyond the plants two triangles of of colored, frit and laminated glass sandwich an interior powder room and an exterior steel stair. The final layer, an articluated screen fabricated of 1/8” stainless steel rods, is employed not simply to block outsiders from looking in or to protect from the western exposure, but perhaps most importantly, to highlight the play of color, light and shadow of the setting sun. Here, the wires are arranged into vertically filigreed ‘planks’ which lie flush to the facade at the lowest point then rise and twist, thereby increasing transparency above the heads of the inhabitants, ending at a 90 degree alignment at guardrail height on the deck above. To access the terraced yard, a visitor would walk from the existing patio across a stepped glass bridge and around the sweeping arc of the sitting area, then down the stair between twisting screen and colored glass, and finally across a walkway of metal grating that hovers above a canna lilly planter below.

Project Team: Mario Cipresso, Chris Hyun, Hana Ogita and Chris Warren