Three Wall House

Beverly Hills, California

Three Wall House

This dramatic hilltop residence occupies an eccentrically shaped site at the end of a long drive. To heighten the sense of arrival, house and view are unmasked only gradually: upon cresting the hill, slits in one of the house's namesake walls give the barest hint of the space beyond. Only after completing the final turn into the motor court is the vista fully revealed, framed by three intensely colored, monolithic walls.

Conceptually, the house uses dynamic formal elements to articulate spaces and views. Initially, one is greeted by a delicate bridge which spans the motor court to connect house and guest house/ garage. The primary living spaces are sheltered by a double-cantilevered plane- hovering just above, but never touching a major demarcating wall. The effect is one of palpable tension- a counterpoint to the the relaxed surroundings.

The "three walls" that define the motor court form, in turn, a visual anchor for the living spaces beyond. After penetrating these enclosures, visitors are pulled through a sequence of glazed volumes which culminate at the expansive family room. Glass doors retract to access deep terraces to the north and east. To the east and south, a large pool and a sequence of gardens designed in collaboration with Pamela Burton complete the scene.

Photo Credit: Lars Frazer