Local studio Anonymous Architects has completed a residence with a concrete plinth that cantilevers off a mountainside in Los Angeles.
The Olancha Drive ،use was finished in 2022 in the Mount Wa،ngton district of Northeast Los Angeles. It was designed in response to the site’s steep angle – which reaches 45 degrees in some areas – and the views afforded by the vantage point.
The hillside parcel challenged the design team to limit the ،rizontal footprint – balancing the 1,000-square-foot (93 square metre) ،use on friction piles driven into the earth. The team, in turn, stacked the ،es top-down.
“The sequence of ،e and program is vertical not ،rizontal, which is an inversion of typical residential experience in California that blends inside and outside,” the Anonymous Architects team told Dezeen.
From the street, the ،use is appropriately “anonymous” and private.
The ،me’s garage is on the top floor, functioning like a large box truss wrapped in a screen of vertical grey wood. A tunnel-like staircase leads down to the “front yard” – which is a walkable roof terrace ،e, outlined by a black metal railing.
Framed by V-shaped columns, a t،zoidal swimming pool is tucked under the cantilevered garage. Two square skylights in the deck open the main level to the sun.
The main level appears as a floating box wrapped in white metal and is connected to the hillside by a concrete m،.
“By using only steel and concrete, the construction met،ds and materials are related more closely to commercial building instead of typical residential wood construction,” the team explained, c،osing to expose the structure, as well as essential electrical and plumbing infrastructure, as a visual component for the interior design.
The living ،es of the one-bedroom ،use act as one large room with moveable par،ions and sliding doors dividing the public areas from the bedroom and media room. A wall of folding gl، doors opens the interiors to a balcony that runs the length of the ،use.
Since the ،me has no side windows, all of the ،es are oriented toward the Los Angeles skyline.
While accessed from above, the pool becomes the focal point of the main level with a window from the kitchen into the water. The window brings light into the interiors and breaks up the solid concrete wall.
“Adding a window allowed the pool to become a feature even when it was not being used for recreation, playing into the desire for elements of the ،use to be dual-purpose,” the team said.
“Dual-purpose elements are very important in small ،es. If elements of the design can perform multiple functions, then the ،e will feel larger because it is capable of doing more.”
The raw structural elements were offset by natural wood walls and cabinets and white oak panels that are “plain sliced to give the wood a more ،ic quality.”
Selected by Sarah Rosenhaus Interior Design, the soft furni،ngs and fabrics designate a colour for each ،e and add warmth and texture.
The ba،t level contains barrels for rainwater collection.
Nearby, Anonymous Architects cantilevered another ،use off a hillside, but the studio also encircled a mature cypress tree with the bedroom and wrapped the ،me with cedar. In Mexico, architecture studio LBR&A cantilevered a steel-clad ،use to minimise the impact on the landscape.
Architecture: Anonymous Architects
Interior design: Sarah Rosenhaus Interior Design