Horizontal House

The location for this 16,000 sf residence consists of a down slope hillside lot, sited between the street, the Hotel Bel-Air, and a neighboring property. Due to the topographic and adjacency considerations of the project’s location, the orientation of the residence is developed to capture the 240 degree horizontal views, while maximizing internal privacy.

Organized into two volumes – eastern and western – the house is situated upon a partially subterranean plinth inserted into the hillside. The plinth simultaneously retains the hillside to carve out the basement level parking garage and theater, while creating the pool deck and motor court above. The second floor, a series of contiguous living spaces that open to the pool deck and motor court, perceptually expands the interior of the home into the lush landscape. The upper floor, consisting of the home’s bedrooms, is connected by a double height interior atrium occupied by a series of interior and exterior public spaces. The multi-level atrium, in conjunction with strategically located operable windows and skylights, acts to naturally ventilate the residence, and provide access to all floors.

In response to the level of solar exposure to the south, the building envelope is recessed and partially shaded by the roof and floor plates. In addition, the thermal mass of the cast-in-place concrete floor plates assists in mitigating the heat gain during the day. The western volume screens the pool and primary living spaces from the harsh afternoon sun. The residence is fitted with PV solar collectors, geothermal system, radiant floor heating, rainwater and greywater recycling, and landscaped roofs.

Project Team: Aaron Neubert (Principal), Jeremy Limsenben, David Chong, Xiran Zhang