Perched in the rugged hills above Pasadena in California, LR2 House enjoys sublime views across the verdant city. Three stacked and rotated volumes clad in black Swisspearl panels cascade down the steeply inclined slope. The relationship between the volumes, the topography, and the treatment of the openings in the dark elongated façades lend LR2 house a sense of drama.
This project is featured in the Swisspearl Architecture #29. Subscribe to our magazine to get the printed issue.
This spacious, new single-family house by Montalba Architects is comprised of several distinct spatial volumes clad in black Swisspearl panels. In response to the client’s desire to retain a significant portion of the existing level area between adjacent slopes, the house follows the matchbox concept with stacked volumes that project from the hillside. By rotating the volumes, the views and the connection to the landscape have been maximized. Each volume has a specific response to indoor/outdoor space. Exterior breezeways, porches, courtyards, covered walkways, and an enormous rooftop deck extend the boundaries of the floor area to the natural chaparral.
The house includes guest suites, a home office, gym, and a subterranean cinema screening room. The primary living areas, open-plan kitchen, and living area with outdoor dining terrace and two bedrooms on the uppermost level are grouped in a volume running parallel to the slope. On the second level, perpendicular to the volume above, an office, outdoor terrace, and double bedroom are accommodated.
The entry follows the landscape guiding visitors along a walkway that extends under the mass of the building. The stairs create a curved path to a bridged entry portal, from where dramatic views of the house can be enjoyed. As the front door opens, the dark, angular façade clad with Swisspearl panels contrasts with the light-filled interior of soft wood and bright white finishes. Upon entering, visitors find themselves within an interior/exterior living space. Once inside the residence, stairs descend to the private screening room or ascend to the third floor living spaces. Framed views of the landscape bathe visitors in natural light and immerse them in the natural world outside. By chamfering the eaves, the Swisspearl panels “slide” inward, toward the floor-to-ceiling openings thereby emphasizing and dramatizing the façades.
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Pasadena, CA, USA
Montalba Architects, Santa Monica, CA, USA
2013 – 2018
PDF project sheet
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