Wednesday, 22 December 2010

The Openhouse, Hollywood Hills, California by XTEN architecture

Designed by XTEN Architecture, The Openhouse is embedded into a narrow and sharply sloping site led to the creation of a house both integrated with the topography and open to city views below. Retaining walls double function to extend the first floor living area into the hillside and to form garden terraces on two levels. The front, side and rear facades of the house slide away, opening the interiors to gardens, views and the hillside landscape.

Ten and twenty meter steel spans allow for unrestricted access to the surroundings and frame uninterrupted views over Los Angeles. Deep overhangs provide solar protection for double glazed walls that slide away to create continuous open spaces from interior to exterior, transforming the local hillside typology by allowing the house to be formed by the topography and opening directly to it in every direction.

Building finishes are few in number but applied in a multiplicity of ways throughout the project, furthering the experience of continuous open space from interior to exterior. With all the glass walls completely open the house becomes a platform, open to hillside gardens and cinematic views over Los Angeles.

Glass, in various renditions, is the primary wall enclosure material. There are forty-four sliding glass panels designed to disappear into hidden pockets and allow for uninterrupted views and access to exterior terraces and gardens. There are also fixed glass walls, mirror glass walls, and light gray mirror glass panels which lend lightness to the interior spaces.

The glass walls are visually counterweighted by sculptural, solid elements in the house rendered in stone, dark stained oak and plaster. The use of quartz flooring throughout the house, decks and terraces continues the indoor-outdoor materiality.

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