Birch Residence

Lead Designer
Prize(s)Honorable Mention
Entry Description

Located on a flat, semi-urban site in the design district of Los Angeles, this two-story residence is compact, yet designed to give a sense of expanded volume. A double-story lens-like curvilinear void runs the length of the residence and creates aberrant relationships among internal living areas, and between the inside of the house and out. A curved, 52-foot skylight aperture is extended by the axis of the pool and its curved geometry is inflected in the pool. A polycarbonate sunshade is arrayed at an offset from the skylight providing refracted daylight within. Its compound lens-like form maximizes the apparent interior volume, while creating new associations to exterior spaces.

Bisected by the void and the pool, the residence takes advantage of reflexive, curved geometry to reconnect the apparent space. Movement occurs along the curve, converging and diverging at threshold moments, creating sinuous movement through the house and the site. A sculptural stair is both grounded and floating, while a second-floor transparent glass bridge hovers in the void above, transmitting multiple lighting effects. An elegant palette of contrasting materials contributes to the expansive feeling of this home. The residence provides open-privacy on the ground floor by visually connecting the entire site, while also arranging strategic connections (apertures) to city views from the second story. Around the pool in back, a private courtyard is created that steps down into an outdoor room, allowing the infinity-edged pool to emerge from the ground.