Overlooking Santa Monica Canyon, the Hill House by Johnston Marklee and Associates derives an unusual form because of zoning restrictions and because of the difficult terrain on the site. As my lungs can testify to you this summer, fires are common in California and the new code is much stricter on the a tight and secure building envelope. Marklee simply combined the roof and wall planes into a tight minimalist box, while retaining some remnance of the southern California style. Windows are punched in to take advantage of spectacular views.
The poured concrete walls angle over the slope to increase its space while fitting in regulations. To achieve this, as well as a cantalevered bedroom on the street level, tie rods and a faceted steel cage create a unique structure. Something else nice, the front of the house facing the street is just a blank wall, not the typical self-aggrandazing houses in Southern Cal.
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[images: lavardera, mymilkglassheart, mopu42, by Julius Shulman and Eric Staudenmaier]