Architect: Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects

Location: Los Angeles, California

A contextually relevant house that also injects a liveliness and strong contemporary presence into the neighborhood.

This project is located around the block from the historically significant Miracle Mile hub comprising numerous noteworthy cultural destinations, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Adhering to a strategy to maximize land use and capitalize on zoning, the building’s 10,500 square feet push against floor area and density limitations determined by the lot’s size and location. In essence, this project is a volume that cannot expand further.

"Nice understated design." - Jury comment

The building’s footprint and volume were determined by zoning and development needs, yet within these parameters the architect explored the threshold between the unit and the street, establishing a veil of transformable layers that promotes a hybridized relationship between private and public zones.

The project’s façade is a study in juxtaposing simplicity with complexity, celebrating the structure’s volume with a choreographed display of permeable layers. The building envelope introduces a visual fragmentation that allows for varied experiences of privacy along the edges of each unit.

"Rigorously developed and is an upgrade in its context." - Jury comment

A blurring of interior and exterior spaces is integral to the design and, dependent on viewing and lighting angles, the building’s sheathing reveals and conceals patios. The project’s integration with its surroundings is upheld by carefully considered deck, window, and walkway placements so that vistas of the Hollywood Sign and Downtown Los Angeles are highlighted from within. While the building is deliberately contextual, the white form also presents a visually striking contrast on a street otherwise occupied by neutral stucco neighbors so typical of Southern California apartment structures, injecting a liveliness and strong contemporary presence into the urban fabric.

Additional information

Interior Designer: Palumbo

Landscape Architect: LINK Landscape

General Contractor: Fortis17 CRM

Structural Engineer: Labib & Associates

Civil Engineer: Harvey Goodman Civil Engineering, Inc.

M/P Engineer: MNS Engineering

Electrical: Amelect


2016 AIA Housing Awards Jury

Jamie Blosser, AIA (Chair), Atkin Olshin Schade Architects, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Ariella Cohen, Editor-in-Chief, Next City, Philadelphia

Kevin Harris, FAIA, Kevin Harris Architect, LLC, Baton Rouge

David Lee, FAIA, Stull and Lee, Inc., Roxbury Crossing, Massachusetts

Suman Sorg, FAIA, Sorg & Associates, P.C., Washington, DC

Image credits

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Lawrence Anderson