The project site for this residence is a 7,500 sf cross slope lot in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. The property is located near the top of a significant hill with panoramic views towards the Silver Lake Reservoir. The residence is situated at the rear of the property providing ample garden spaces at the front to buffer the exposure to the high traffic street. Due to the adjacency of neighboring properties, primary opportunities for open space occur toward the East and West, while views are primarily to the North within the parcel.
The project challenge consisted of solving the interface of the living and working environments for a young couple – one a car designer tinkering with independent projects after hours and the other an artist running an active letterpress studio. Due to the owners’ desire for a conjoined residence and studio, coupled with our interest in passive environmental controls, and the potential for expansive views of the Silver Lake Reservoir and surrounding hillside topography, the strategy for this live/work residence emerged as a series of tightly stacked spaces unfolding and engaging the multiple landscapes of the site.
A small commercial letterpress operation shares space with an industrial design studio at the garden level. This studio has separate access directly from the entry path and parking. The densely packed studio is contrasted by the sparse living quarters that occupy the main floor and the mezzanine above. The studio and the private components of the residential spaces above are clad in a dark stained cedar siding, while the public spaces of the residence are wrapped in a weathering steel exterior skin.
The steel skin and its associated plaster interior liner form a spatial manifold that envelops the residence and provides autonomy between program as required, while expanding the compact interior living spaces into the landscape at every opportunity. This expansion effectively doubles the useable living space of the residence.
The sectional geometry of the residence, the multiple operable apertures located around the perimeter, and the operable hatch connecting the mezzanine and the roof deck completes the passive environmental cooling strategies employed. Through the adjustment of the various building apertures, stack ventilation and convective cooling is achievable.