A beautifully executed house with a commanding view of Hollywood. Designed by L.A. based firm XTEN Architecture. The husband and wife team Austin Kelly and Monika Haefelfinger once said Monika is rational while Austin is the opposite. It sounds like that the Yin and Yang balance makes the practice work.
The horizontal folding form capture ones eyes and expresses itself as the main structure while the vertical elements are obviously secondary or even non-existent at times. The sliding glass panels making up the majority of the walls disappear into carefully designed pockets.
The indoor and outdoor forms a continous space with the smooth flow of flooring material out to the balcony, taking in the city skyline in its entirity.
The interior is clean and minimalist with very few colours. You would not need any more colours when you have the blue sky, city lights and a well manicured green garden brought into your home every minute. I can see both the rational minimalist and the expressionist working in this design.
I would absolutely love to own it (and rent it out to make a profit) or visit this place to appreciate the aesthetics but I cannot imagine myself living in it.
Although I love minimalist designs, my domestic self is messy, I prefer things lying everywhere around me with easy access. I collect and showcase my books, my CDs, my decades of architecture magazines. I have bookcases on every imaginable vertical surfaces in my room. My dockets have to be on my table or I will lose them forever, etc etc.
This house is designed for those who love orders and neatness. I might need some external force to balance me out before I can live in minimalist houses like this.
designmilk @ Flickr (Licenced by Creative Common)
The Openhouse is embedded into a narrow and sharply sloping property in the Hollywood Hills, a challenging site that led to the creation of a house that is both integrated into the landscape and open to the city below. Retaining walls are configured to extend the first floor living level into the hillside and to create gardens on two levels. The front, side and rear elevations of the house slide open to erase all boundaries between indoors and out, connecting the spaces to gardens on both levels.
Glass, in various renditions, is the primary wall enclosure material. There are forty-four sliding glass panels, each seven feet wide by ten feet high and configured 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 specular 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, tinted concrete and plaster. The use of cut pebble flooring throughout the house, decks and terraces continues the indoor-outdoor materiality, which is amplifed when the glass walls slide away. The building finishes are few in number but applied in a multiplicity of ways throughout the project, furthering the experience of continuous open spaces from interior to exterior.
Set in a visible hillside area above Sunset Boulevard, the Openhouse appears as a simple folded line with recessed glass planes, a strong sculptural form at the scale of the site. The minimalist logic of the architecture is transformed by direct and indirect connections to nature. With the glass walls completely open the house becomes a platform defined by an abstract roof plane, a palette of natural materials, hillside, gardens and the views.