Xten Architecture blend their own brand of Los Angeles drama with thoughtful Swiss restraint into a sculptural remodel of a 1960s house in Hollywood Hills.
A house in the hills of Los Angeles comes with interconnected terraces that follow the down slope as a matter of course; it's what you do with the terraces to make the most of your views that matters most. While geotechnical, zoning, and budget constraints required the architects to keep the building foundations and footprint of this house the same, Xten Architecture principals Monika Hafelfinger (she’s Swiss and worked for the renowned Swiss architects Herzog de Meuron) and Austin Kelly (he’s an American who trained with the other famous Swiss architect, Peter Zumthor, and then worked with three LA architect greats; Frank Israel, Frank Gehry, and Eric Owen Moss) were undeterred; managing to reconfigure the entire house; adding extra terraces to broaden views and increase direct connections with the landscape while tying it all together into one sculptural form with a judicious palette and use of materials.
Photography by Steve King via Architizer.
Above: "A series of abstract indoor-outdoor spaces with framed views to nature are rendered in white surfaces of various materials and finishes; lacquered cabinetry, epoxy resin floors and decks and painted metal," the architects say.
Above: The black trim of the window trim is the only thing to suggest a difference between interior kitchen space and exterior terrace space.
Above two: The architects added a 500 square foot terrace and wide outdoor stair next to the kitchen, creating an outdoor connection between the living room and the kitchen, and another between the living room and a large rooftop deck.
Above: The white interiors extend out into the terrace as outdoor room, which has been created through floor to ceiling glass sliding panels that disappear into adjacent walls when open.
Above: Views of the surrounding hills are available from different levels.
Above: The house sits on a ridge underneath the Hollywood sign and belongs to models to Ryan Burns and Aline Nakashima.
Above: A bath with a view.
Above two: "While the exterior is perceived as a specific finite and irregular object in the landscape the opposite occurs inside the building," the architects say. "Once inside the multitude of white surfaces blend the rooms together, extending ones sense of space and creating a heightened, abstract atmosphere from which to experience the varied forms of the hillside landscape."
Above: "The contrast between the interior and exterior of the house is intentional and total," the architects say.
Above: The dramatic contrast between the white interiors and the black exteriors heightens the abstract forms of the house.
Above: With a such a small building (1800 square feet), the architects felt it was important to treat the building as one single piece and wrapped the structure in new plaster which was then painted black.
Above: A diagram that illustrates the steps the architects too to reconfigure the house.
Nothing beats the graphic drama created by the contrast between black and white. Interested trying it out in your own home?See 5029 images of Black and White in our Gallery of rooms and spaces.