My aunt lives in East Hollywood in a house that’s on the side of a hill. It’s a very rectangular, pre-post modern architectural house that looks like a suitcase jutting out from a mountain. When my grandfather (A big influence stylistically on me: rest in peace, sir.) visited the house, he notoriously called the place a “trailer on the side of a hill.” This was his ineloquent and curt way to say, “Hey: you live in a very boxy place with a great view.” I’ve coveted the house for a long time (and my Aunt knows it) but I’ve also been looking for my own alternative to her place. What’s the latest entry into this series? LA architecture firm J,P;A‘s Sessa Residence.
We saw the house through Arch Daily and have been drooling over it for days. We’re not sure where it is in town (probably better that way) but is a very linear, totally rectangular, indoor/outdoor space that answers your prayers of wanting to constantly be on a patio. The house is a meditation on letting the outside in, which is exactly what people in LA love. With a patio that unites the entire house, every part of the place has a great view and access to the view. Most hillside houses in LA have one good view–but this house has all good views.
J,P;A calls the place “a demonstration of the positive virtue of restraint.” Why is that? It is a very minimal, linear house. That rectangular, “trailer on the side of a hill” idea is an excellent point of departure for design: enhance and embrace that rectangle and make everything rectangular. As you can tell from the exterior from front and back (both below), this shape is the point of departure for the design. J,P;A agrees: “The composite design process followed Michelangelo’s sculptural practice of ‘removing everything that was not it’ and then adding in all that was necessary to make it be the best possible version of itself. In this case ‘it’ was an iconic ‘tube’ partis, hiding within an unremarkable contractor-designed box-on-stilts.”
Of all the houses we’ve shared recently (and have coveted), this is the one we love the most. Why is that? Because it takes the simple concept of being succinct in design, being indoor/outdoors, and relying on something super basic to excel. Also, it’s big and would be great to host parties (which is a big thing for us). We’re glad to share this house with you all because we’re sure you’ll be drooling over it as much as we did: see more of it here.