Text description provided by the architects. This project is located in the Pacific Palisades, a hilly region between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Mountains within an existing 1950's housing development. The project consists of twin houses sited adjacent to each other on a steep slope above a seasonal watershed.
In this project Predock Frane Architects were interested in exploring the intersection of two classic California building typologies; the courtyard house and the hillside house. This intersection was then further complicated by the overlay of two height envelope parameters that very explicitly controlled the volumetric limits of the structures.
The building program was ambitious relative to total city allowances, so Predock Frane Architects started by intersecting the two envelopes, and then pierced this volume with two courtyards, altering the hillside typology into a hillside/courtyard hybrid.
This typological hybrid 'corrected' certain shortcomings in the hillside prototype. The central courtyard creates a large protected outdoor living space secluded from direct engagement with adjacent properties. The main courtyard and adjacent courtyard/recesses pierce the entire volume of the house creating light shafts to rooms typically 'buried' in the hillside and further expanding direct access to grounded exterior spaces. Materially the exterior of the houses are clad in dark stained wood plank, transitioning to white on its interior surfaces.