Los Feliz Residence

los angeles, california

Type: Residential

Size: 6,000 SF

Team: Harold Ornelas


JN Structural Engineers

CCE Civil

This residence is perched on a 2-acre, upslope lot with a 270 degree view of the city below and the hills around and above. Access to the house is up a 500 ft. long private driveway. The building’s massing consists of terraced angular volumes whose geometries are the result of negotiating a steep topography, stringent zoning restrictions, limits on allowed grading quantities and fire access requirements, all while aligning spaces and views with key landmarks including the Downtown L.A. skyline in the distance and the Griffith Observatory above.

The house consists of four levels, going from more private to more public. A four-car garage is located on the first level.  Bedrooms and a family room are above. The third floor holds the Downtown aligned primary bedroom suite and office areas. Living areas with the best views are located on the fourth level. 

A restrained material palette consisting of fiber cement board and metal fins is used. Combined they give different modulation to the different elements. The rhythm of lines start as guardrail fins on the undulating driveway approach. Used at a different scale and proportion, the same fins are used on the bedroom level for privacy while also casting a rhythm of shifting shadows on the volume. The top two levels drop the fins in lieu of shadow reveals emphasizing the fiber cement panels which are used in different modulation to a different cadence. Landscaped planters and green roofs line the roofs and edges of the volumes.

Most hillside houses prioritize views while having oversized but underused flat decks negating the actual experience of living with the exciting sectional characteristics of a sloped site. As a response to this, the levels of this residence interface with the natural terrain in a variety of ways, creating unique outdoor spaces for experiencing and interacting with the immediate context despite its steep slope. 

1181 N. New Hampshire Ave.
Los Angeles CA 90029