“Snake coming out of a metal cage”
8860 Lookout Mountain Ave Los Angeles, California

Located almost at the top of the hill the 1920’s bungalow was the original lookout at Lookout Mountain, the destination point of the tramway that brought city dwellers to this hillside “resort”. Beyond remodel after years of neglect, it was demolished with the exception of the foundation, retaining walls and a heavy cast iron bathtub. To improve the view compromised by development and wonderfully overgrown eucalyptus trees, a third floor studio was added with a roof deck providing an updated version of the “lookout”.

The design concept is based on:

the cage, a metal box that includes most living spaces and in its shape pays homage to the late bungalow and,

the snake, an 8” thick flesh-colored stucco ribbon that creeps in and out of the box generating all the miscellaneous events in the front and rear façade (entry canopy, balcony, roof deck, office and storage room). Inside, the “snake” changes color to a more “dormant” soothing green.

The main entrance to the house is through a voyeuristic glass bridge that provides the only access of direct sunlight into the partially subterranean first floor.

In spite of the tiny lot size (1,800 sf), the three story solution allows for a decent intimate backyard with spa and yoga deck off the bedrooms and a generous frontyard outdoor room for entertaining off the living/dining/kitchen areas.

This project is featured in the 2008 1000 x ARCHITECTURE of the AMERICAS, from