Laurel Hills

Laurel Hills House is composed of three pavilions artfully arranged around an open space to maximise privacy while increasing interaction with the natural surroundings, and contouring to the site’s natural slope. The house is situated in Studio City, California.

The first pavilion is comprised of the garage and guest quarters that are connected to the rest of the house by a glass hallway. This hallway forms one side of the courtyard.

The main block, which houses the main public spaces of the home, forms the second boundary of the courtyard. The private spaces are located in the third pavilion which is perpendicular to the main block and forms the final plane, enclosing the courtyard. 

Upon entry from the street, guests walk down a linear walkway of concrete pavers surrounded by wild grasses before passing through a micro-olive grove featuring three productive old growth olive trees from Visalia, CA.

The main entrance to the home is located in the main block. The foyer, guest powder room, open concept kitchen with skylights, and informal dining nook are massed on the front side of the house at the same level as the micro-olive grove and the street, while the living room and family room are located on the backside of the home and are sunken at grade with the backyard and pool area.

The result is an open and seamless living and entertaining block with multiple volumes and 360 degree site lines throughout the home. 

Both the front and back planes of the main block open up to the exterior when large folding doors recede into pocket walls to blur the boundaries between indoors and out.

The formal dining room in the front opens up onto the micro-olive grove. The living room and family room open up onto the backyard and pool area.

The sleeping pavilion features an expansive master suite that, like the living room and family room, is sunken, at grade with the pool area. Two more bedrooms on either side of a modified jill-and-jill bathroom, a small home office, and a children’s recreation room are located at grade with the courtyard towards the front of the house and complete the sleeping block. 

The rear of the house opens up onto a 1,284 sf garden that features a 40 ft long pool surrounded by concrete slab patio replete with outdoor lounge and fire pit, and a 100 sf Ipe Wood deck. This generous outdoor entertainment area blends seamlessly with the public spaces of the home. 

Interior finishes include oversize charcoal colored board, batten extira, and oak wood flooring. The kitchen features a Calacatta Cremo Honed countertop and custom cabinets. All bathrooms have all custom fixtures and cabinets. 

The exterior of home is clad in Western Red Cedar. The large flat roof provides enough surface area for over fifty solar panels that allow the residence to generate and store its own power. 

The single-story home is surrounded by a canopy of trees and the expansive 5,380 sf site includes a natural dry creek. Large boulders that were originally found in the backyard have been preserved and placed throughout the landscape. 

Project credits:

Architecture & Design: Assembledge

Design Team: David Thompson (Principal-in-Charge), Greg Marin (Project Manager), Raul Aguilera (Project Architect) 

Structural Engineer: CM Peck 

Contractor: Assembledge+ 

Landscape Design: Fiore Landscape Design 

Interior Design: Susan Mitnick Design 

Photography: Matthew Millman 

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