Alta House

Located above Sunset Boulevard in the hills of Pacific Palisades, Alta House is a custom home designed for married couples and their art collections. The site is surrounded by a hillside road that curves towards the North, towering nearly thirty feet along the property. To the south, the site opens up to views of the Santa Monica Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

The mass of the building followed the shape of the road, starting from a 2-story structure and slowly becoming fully embedded into the hillside. It is expressed as a solid curved wall, embracing the site, creating privacy from passing cars.

The house engages and pulls away from these curved walls, creating exterior spaces of all shapes and sizes: garden entrance, outdoor living and exterior dining areas. This exterior space surrounds the main living spaces to the North, East and West and views the Pacific Ocean to the South.

To take full advantage of the view from the site, a typical program of a house is reversed, allowing the main living area to be upstairs while moving the bedroom downstairs, opening onto the pool and downstairs garden. A double-height room sits in the center of the house, connecting the upper and lower levels by a poured concrete staircase that contains the lower family area.

Once indoors, the sliding glass walls open in all directions creating a transparent and light impression. Natural sunlight and air flow freely throughout the house, reducing the need for air conditioning or daylight.