Elysian Park Residence
Private Residence and Guesthouse
The Elysian Park residence is located at the top of the hills adjacent to the park and Dodger Stadium. Situated at the border between the vast open space of the park and the surrounding metropolis to the west, the site affords panoramic views of the city as far away as the Pacific coastline.
The house is composed on two discrete levels, public over private. In contrast to the insularity and privacy of the bedrooms on the lower floor, the upper floor is for the most part continuous, open and transparent, vaporizing like a cloud hovering above the land. The luminous volume is bound by clear glazing on the west and translucent polycarbonate panels overlooking the street to the east. The ceiling is twelve feet high throughout.
While the view seems always to be one of the strongest determinants of siting and orientation for architecture, in this instance it was also a problem. Facing directly west, the desire to ‘take it all in’ forces one to almost stare directly into the sun in the late afternoon. The deep fins of a lightweight aluminum brise-soleil placed along the length of the entire west facade solves this problem, mitigating the effects of exposure and glare while maintaining the view. Finally, in spite of a fairly liberal amount of open space on the site, its usefulness was called into question due to the extreme slope. Outdoor space in the form of a terrace compensates for this dilemma and completes the large loft-like space of the upper floor, acting as an outdoor room. Back to back fireplaces serve as focal points for the living space and the outdoor terrace.
Several years after the main house was completed, a detached guesthouse was subsequently constructed downslope. As opposed to the levitati