Archinect
Chu+Gooding Architects

Chu+Gooding Architects

Los Angeles, CA

anchor
© Richard Powers
© Richard Powers
12 more images  ↓

Hollywood Hills House

The project is a remodel of a 1975 Spanish Revival style house on a “Grey Gardens” California canyon site in the Hollywood Hills. The client is a renowned, syndicated photographer with a substantial art collection and a passion for 1930s and 40s Italian Fascist architecture. The design intention was to fulfill the California dream of indoor-outdoor living; clarify and emphasize volumetric and spatial diversity; and to create a home that is, in essence, an exhibition of an eclectic collection of art and furnishings ranging from old masters to futurists. To meet this end, we relied on bold proportions, scant ornamentation, timeless restraint, and inventive craftsmanship. In its renovated state, the Hollywood Hills Residence demonstrates architecture as a discipline platform to explore the continuum of landscape, architecture, interior, and the decorative arts.

At the scale of the house, the two-storey-high living room fenestration opens up toward the view of a new landscape of bold forms of landscape features: pool and vegetation. Collaboration with an artist yielded a pair of cast bronze entry gates that breaks the subdued plaster volumes of the house. The gates lead through highly lacquered Gio Ponti-inspired teal color doors into a dramatic entry marked by a descending cubist-inspired plaster staircase and a two-storey-high fireplace incorporating oil rubbed bronze architectural metal detailing. The volume is further heightened by the reflective painted low relief coffered ceiling and balanced with the rimming gallery of more bronze balustrade and column details. The furnishings of the living room are a mix of mid-century and 1930s French furniture. Here the architectural solution for the volume did not stop at the waxed herringbone floor; another collaboration with a fiber artist created a floor level anchoring element of an unruly wool rug that is both decorative and architectural due to its scale and formal attitude.

Other rooms of the house continue to explore the presence of the architecture through the design of all the elements that make the spaces, from walls, floors and ceilings to integrated skylights, laylights, and valances. Consistent use of a color palette inspired by Giorgio De Chirico’s Melancholia is also used at the architectural scale to create dynamism of the spaces. A ‘curatorial narrative’ guides the design—from the selection of the furnishing scenarios and how they complete the composition with the architectural spaces, to the meticulous detailing and refined finishes that elevate the simple geometric volumes and planes to a theatrical quality. These integrated architectural resolutions take cues from exhibition design and speak of the layers of juxtaposition between historical references and contemporary occupation.

Beyond the client’s initial expectations, the house has also served as a photography studio and shooting location. The backdrop of the bold proportions of forms and spaces have appeared in quite a few editorials and have therefore enhanced the client’s career. Moreover, the house has become a salon and retreat for an exclusive network of artists, actors, decorative art dealers, models and producers of the image-making machinery of Hollywood—a band of mavericks who find company with each other in a sympathetic environment where their “sensibilities come to life.”

 
Read more

Status: Built
Location: Los Angeles, CA, US
Firm Role: Executive Architect
Additional Credits: Principal in Charge: Annie Chu
Project Architect: Michael Matteucci
Project Team: Karena Auseth, Bryan Kim, Claudia Kessner

General Contractor: Andrew Jagoda / AJ Engineering
Structural Engineer: Joseph Perazzelli
Mechanical Engineer: Martin Espinosa
Landscape Architect: Bent Grass
Lighting Design: David Steinitz, F.I.R.E./L.T.D.
Custom Entry Gate Design: Mary Brogger
Custom Wool Rug Design: Claudy Jongstra

 
© Richard Powers
© Richard Powers
© Richard Powers
© Richard Powers
© Richard Powers
© Richard Powers
© Richard Powers
© Richard Powers
© Richard Powers
© Richard Powers
© Richard Powers
© Richard Powers
© Richard Powers
© Richard Powers
© Richard Powers
© Richard Powers
© Richard Powers
© Richard Powers
© Richard Powers
© Richard Powers
© Richard Powers
© Richard Powers
© Elle Decor 2015
© Elle Decor 2015
Hollywood Hills House (a film by Nils Timm)