Dan Brunn Architecture and Dwell Break Ground on Bridge House in L.A.

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By Sarah Akkoush
Presented by DBArchitecture
With the structural framework in place, Dan Brunn Architecture’s Bridge House takes shape.

In Hancock Park, Los Angeles, a long lot with a brook running through it provided the contextual landscape in which Dan Brunn Architecture and team sought to integrate a modern dwelling that would be responsive to the natural environment around it. Viewing the unique site condition as a design opportunity rather than a challenge, Dan Brunn and team conceptualized a plan that would actually cross directly over the stream, aptly earning its moniker "Bridge House." In partnership with Dwell, the collaborative project that began last year has now seen exciting progress on site, and is steadily continuing to take shape.

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All on one level, Bridge House spans 210 feet across a stream in Hancock Park, Los Angeles. The structural undertaking was made possible by steel framework fabricated by BONE Structure.

All on one level, Bridge House spans 210 feet across a stream in Hancock Park, Los Angeles. The structural undertaking was made possible by steel framework fabricated by BONE Structure.

Through cutting-edge collaboration with BONE Structure, the steel skeleton was assembled faster and more cost-effectively than traditional building methods. BONE Structure’s modular "kit of parts" is tailor-made for each unique project; the steel components are laser cut with exacting precision, then transported to the building site. This allows for a high level of accuracy, efficiency, and rapid assembly on site. Before BONE Structure got involved with the project, Dan Brunn, after purchasing a vacant house near his own, was planning simply on renovating the existing structure and selling when complete. It was then that BONE Structure approached him with interest in getting involved, and together, the team was able to elevate the design to respond to the potential of the natural environment in a more immersive way. Through creative development, the steel infrastructure facilitated the bold stream-crossing design. The impressive BONE Structure build, now complete, was the first of its kind in Southern California.

Pre-cut openings in BONE Structure’s steel framing members allow for simplified (and expedited) routing of HVAC and electricity.

Pre-cut openings in BONE Structure’s steel framing members allow for simplified (and expedited) routing of HVAC and electricity.

Further progress is made on the exterior, as openings are framed on the private wing of the home.

Further progress is made on the exterior, as openings are framed on the private wing of the home.

Spanning 210 horizontal feet and traversing a brook did not come without its logistical challenges. Two separate foundations, on either side of the water, had to be erected and linked – this meant everything had to be perfectly plum and straight to enable the alignment. The cross-water channel, engineered the same as an overpass for a highway, crossed six feet of water, in addition to about 65 feet of the stream bank. Twelve water-tight caissons drill into the ground to anchor the foundation on either side of the stream. 

With the completion of the BONE Structure phase, the team now awaits the arrival of their energy-efficient Western Windows. Once windows go in, the roof will be constructed, closely followed by the SunPower solar panel system. Concurrently, the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing infrastructure will be installed – integration which is simplified by BONE Structure’s built-in framework and routing elements. Finally, natural wood siding from Western Cedar will clad the exterior of the home, warmly responding to the beauty of the tranquil surroundings. 

Openings are framed and ready for energy-efficient Western Windows.

Openings are framed and ready for energy-efficient Western Windows.

Using the BONE Structure system, no interior load bearing walls are required, offering complete freedom and customization inside.

Using the BONE Structure system, no interior load bearing walls are required, offering complete freedom and customization inside.

With the help of BONE Structure's steel framework, electrical wires can be easily routed through pre-cut openings.

With the help of BONE Structure's steel framework, electrical wires can be easily routed through pre-cut openings.

Stay tuned for updates as windows are installed, and natural cedar siding is added!