Hsu McCullough

Hsu McCullough

Los Angeles, CA


Grand View Oak Residence

The story of this house begins with a tree:  A 100-year old oak that anchors the back third of the lot.  With it’s twisting, broad canopy, Hsu McCullough was inspired to design a new home to celebrate this tree - with both interior and exterior spaces opening to it’s glory.  Not only does the home carefully wrap around the tree canopy but it also continues to be a focal point from most rooms of the house at all levels.

From the street, a simple facade of smooth stucco with a deeply carved recess combines with walnut-hued Ash vertical wood siding disguises a descending hillside property and elongated home beyond.  Once inside, it is clear the intent was to create a private oasis:  A courtyard house tethered to an existing majestic oak tree sitting at the lower portion of the property with swimming pool, wood deck and tall landscape edges.  Under this significant tree, shooting from the toe of an infinity edge swimming pool, one can lounge around the fire pit area and gaze at the paintings of the adjacent the glass walls of the gallery hall.  Hsu McCullough strategically placed the Study under the tree - a calm, contemplative retreat with full view of the 40-foot long pool, home and series of outdoor spaces at multiple levels ample for outdoor entertaining.  A wood deck finished to match the exterior wood siding wraps the pool and offers an outdoor kitchen/BBQ.  This deck is also connected to the Kitchen and Living Room - of white oak and Calacatta marble - by a long run of multi-slide glass doors:Truly blurring the threshold of the interior and exterior while offering fantastic natural light.  The spaces within this 5,200 sq. ft. home were carefully designed to naturally follow the descending grade of the property.  From street to rear yard, there are several interior floor level changes throughout distinctly placing rooms at unique positions relative to each other.  Created by placing short flights of stairs (three or four treads) in key positions, the owners are treated to novel apertures to enjoy the house as they move through it.  Along the property's 165 foot-length, the land descends over 10-foot of fall.  All rooms maintain an outward gaze to the outdoor living space:  The owners can see other rooms beyond and at different floor elevations due to the C-shape house footprint.  For example, from the Kitchen and Living Room, one can see the swimming pool, pool waterfall, outdoor fire pit as well as into the Gallery hall and Study below at the foot of the oak.  And of course vice-versa offering warm exhibitionism:  Rooms become theater stages.

The home has five bedroom, five bathrooms as well as a powder room while also offering multiple rooftop decks with magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean, Venice, Playa del Rey, Westchester, Mar Vista and the palm tree army marching up Grand View Boulevard.  The five decks at their unique levels also offer different features from party entertaining to lounging observatory to yoga, meditation, ping pong tournament and movie night aspirations.  Hsu McCullough designed the Primary Bedroom with floor-to-ceiling glass extending the oak tree canopy into the room with dappled light piercing through the leaves and branches.  To amplify the drama, a corner fireplace was located at the glass edge and clad in “Nero Marquina" book-matched marble framing glimpses of the swimming pool and deck below.  In addition, the bed headboard wall was finished in roman clay plaster paint by Portola Paints to stretch the exterior plaster wall through the window plane and inside.

Completed in 2021

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Status: Built
Location: Mar Vista, CA, US
Firm Role: Architect
Additional Credits: Dan Arnold - Photographs
Structural Engineer: Thang Le
General Contractor: ZGB Homes
Modern Mecca - Furnishings