2012 Recipient | AIA Housing Awards

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Nakahouse | Notes of Interest

This project is an abstract remodel of a 1960s hillside house located on a west facing ridge in the Hollywood Hills, Calif., just below the Hollywood sign. To the south and west are canyon views; to the east is a protected natural ravine, with a view of Griffith Park Observatory in the distance.

A series of abstract indoor-outdoor spaces with framed views to nature are rendered in white lacquered cabinetry, white concrete epoxy floors, white plaster, and white steel. One room pours into another, eliminating clear division or division between spaces, and providing the illusion of weightlessness. The series of interconnected terraced spaces connect the rooms to each other and to the outdoors, lending further to the concept of an uncontained space with no rigid beginnings or ends. Air moves freely through a circuit created by the new design so the home doesn’t need or have air conditioning.

The contrast between the interior and exterior of the house is intentional and total. While the interiors are light and fluid, the exterior walls are finished in a black, monolithic Meoded venetian plaster system. These deep black plaster walls act as a net, holding the home in place, while still allowing it to move in interesting directions. The black exteriors add definition to an interior that tries to escape it. Although the footprint is still small, it is now rivaled by giant views through the floor to ceiling glass-sliding panels. Exteriors open up the breathtaking hillside, taking advantage of surroundings once disregarded by the original home.

Additional Credit

  • General Contractor: NWGC, INC.
  • Geotech: CY Geotech
  • Structural Engineer: Axial Engineering Group, INC.

Photo Credit

  • © Steve King


Category One: One and Two Family Custom Residences

Jury Comments

Lovely. Feeling of serenity, spectacular framing of the views and the folded geometry of the enclosure makes for some beautiful interiors.

2012 AIA Housing Awards Jury

  • Sandra A. LaFontaine, AIA, Chair
  • LaFontaine Architecture and Design
  • Worthington, Ohio
  • Allison Arieff
  • New York Times
  • San Francisco
  • Sara E. Caples, AIA
  • Caples Jefferson Architects
  • New York City
  • Jerome King, FAIA
  • The Office of Jerome King
  • San Jose, Calif.
  • Bill Moore, AIA
  • Sprocket Design Build, Inc.
  • Denver

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