Hollywood Hills, California, USA
Peter Gluck head of GLUCK+ and his design team have designed a new house in Hollywood Hills for his son film director Will Gluck that builds on the language of iconic design.
California House features open interiors and a clean-boned, midcentury aesthetic.
The site is spectacular, a steep north-facing hillside with unobstructed views of the mountains topped with soil nine inches deep to provide ample insulation to the interiors.
The lower level also receives a substantial boost in natural heating and cooling from being “earth-sheltered” by the side of the mountain.
Its foot-thick concrete wall also helps, eliminating air leakage and moderating interior temperature swings.
Building on this site, long considered unbuildable, presented two challenges: first, to minimize the impact of the house on the landscape, and second, to create a sufficient flat area to be comfortable for outdoor activities.
The solution bifurcates the building into distinct tectonic halves and programmatic functions.
The lower floor carved into the hill with its expanse of green roof, creates a strong ground-plane, or bench, in the steeply sloping land.
Private family spaces are arrayed along the hillside, meant to be essentially invisible.
This invisibility contrasts with the strong sculptural form above.
A glass-sided pavilion creates a loft-like space for the communal activities of living, cooking, dining, and entertaining.
Everything is configured to maintain the simplicity and openness of the space. Kitchen and spatial divisions never touch the ceiling so that it seems to float above on independent steel supports.
Three solid wood-faced “boxes” contain “messy” program elements, maintaining the integrity of the large space.
Like a vast parasol, the roof of the house is a rectangle with upturned edges that extend well beyond the footprint of the pavilion.
The roof is also slightly rotated and titled up gently at the edges like an origami bird.
By twisting its position in relation to the glass rectangle, at all times of day or season, at one corner or another, there is always either shade or sunlight to be found.
“This angular differentiation creates shaded areas at all times,” says Gluck, “and the chance to sit and participate in the environment in all its moods.”
The roof also hides a host of solar panels, which produce enough energy to power the entire house and keep three electric vehicles charged.
Project: California House
Client: Will Gluck
Photographers: Paul Vu