From Brian Reiff
The Legal House (aka Keeshen House) is a 2,900 square foot home designed and built for a young family, with 2 small children, in the location of their existing house on a quiet street in a friendly hilltop neighborhood. Many homes here are being expanded so residents can remain in the city as they raise families in the highly valuable and densifying Westside of Los Angeles. Much of the design process was spent navigating through and adjusting to the currently changing zoning codes, which dictate the size and shape of expanding single-family residential construction. As the owners are both Attorneys and were fascinated by this part of the process, the project has been nicknamed “The Legal House”.
The Architecture is organized around a 3-dimensional circulation path, which also serves as a device to capture daylight and distribute fresh air to the internal parts of the house. This path is expressed in the Architectural form and terminates at a roof deck with panoramic views of the city and coast.
The approach was to work mostly within the footprint of the existing house but maximize floor area on the upper floor. The massing concept led to a solution of 4 parts. Two wooden ‘sleeping’ boxes are perched above a stone or heavy ‘living’ level base, all intersected by the snaking metal circulation element.