Pacific Palisades, California, USA
Located above Sunset Boulevard in the hills of the Pacific Palisades, XTEN Architecture and Studio MLA’s aMa House is a custom home designed for a married couple and their art collection.
The aMahouse has recently been awarded a 2022 American Architecture Award as well as an International Architecture Awards Honorable Mention by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
The site is wrapped by a curving hillside street to the North, rising nearly thirty feet along the length of the property.
The mass of the building follows the form of the street, beginning as a 2-story structure and gradually fully embedding itself into the hillside.
This is expressed as a solid curved wall, embracing the site, creating privacy from the passing cars.
The house both engages with and pulls away from this curved wall, creating exterior spaces of various shapes and sizes: an entry garden, an outdoor living room, and an exterior dining area.
These exterior spaces surround the primary living spaces to the North, East, and West and view the Pacific Ocean to the South.
To take full advantage of the views from the site, the typical program of a house was inverted, allowing the main living spaces to reside on the upper floor while moving the bedrooms to the lower level, opening up to the pool and lower garden.
Once inside the house, sliding glass walls open in every direction creating a sense of transparency and lightness.
Natural daylight and air flow freely through the house, reducing the need for air conditioning or daytime lighting.
Architects: XTEN Architecture
Landscape Architects: Studio MLA
General Contractor: HMJ Construction
Photographers: Art Gray Photography