When David Freeland and Brennan Buck of architectural design practice FreelandBuck purchased a roughly 6,000-square-foot hillside property in the Mount Washington neighborhood of Los Angeles, they saw potential where many others would have only seen challenge.
Working together with Marieke Ochtman of real estate development firm Urbanite Homes, the architects turned the steep terrain into the site for their first spec house—dubbed the Stack House—that’s designed to push the envelope in hillside residential design.
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Named after its stacked box appearance, the 2,207-square-foot vertical home navigated the difficult site constraints—including tricky zoning codes and steep terrain—while prioritizing indoor-outdoor living on all four floors.
"Unlike conventional hillside homes that appear to have been placed atop the slope, this house is embedded into it, creating a much closer relationship to the landscape," the architects explain.
The four-bedroom, three-bath home is divided into a series of boxes, each slightly rotated and shifted to create outdoor spaces and optimize unobstructed views of the San Gabriel Mountains.
The architects also integrated an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) into the massing and sandwiched the a bedroom suite between the two-car garage on the ground floor and the primary living spaces on the third level.
Organized into a simple grid of four rooms, the third floor houses a dining area, kitchen, living room, and den—all defined by curved interior walls.
"The central corner of each room is removed, as the rooms are knitted together by a series of tangent arcs," adds the firm. "The curves blend spaces while carefully opening views through the house."
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The fourth level comprises a master suite along with two secondary bedrooms, all of which are organized on the same four-square grid as the level below.
Completed in 2018, the bespoke Stack House had been listed for an asking price of $1,399,000 and is currently pending a sale.