///////Project Info

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CLIENT: Rob Stieglitz

SITE: upslope suburban infill lot on small twisting street; originally Case Study House 17 by Rodney Walker

PROGRAM: single family residence/major remodel: master suite, guest suite/studio, living, kitchen/dining, garage, pool house

SIZE: 2,400 ft2

COST: $300,000


NOTES: type V construction for roof and walls on existing foundations; new concrete floors over existing ply subfloor with additional joists, new cmu garage

PUBLICATIONS: GA Houses 59, Project 1999; Archilab catalog, 2000

PROJECT TEXT: from GA: “An existing contractor-designed house (how embarrassing it was to discover, after writing these lines and knocking down the original structure, that the house was actually Case Study house 17 by Rodney Walker) from 1958 sits on a deep, narrow, terraced lot with a steep drop down to a small side-street off Laurel Canyon Road in Hollywood. The house enjoys a magnificent view to the west—not quite to the ocean, but close enough. Unfortunately, this is also the worst sun exposure, maybe explaining something about the psyche of the area. The site is planted with an eclectic mix of native and exotic species (most of which got destroyed during construction), which mitigates the otherwise close presence of the neighbors to the north and south and gives the site a sense of privacy and solitude.

The program for this project can be characterized as an extensive "upgrade" of the existing 2 bedroom, 2-1/2 bath residence, including finishes, fixtures and new roof (a leaking roof was the trigger for the commission). A new garage and pool/guest house will also be added, along with a new central HVAC system. CMU and wood frame construction are used throughout; cladding includes new metal and fiberglass corrugation with panel roof and wall systems, exterior cement plaster, and commercial grade storefront and "mall slider" glazing systems. Modest CIP concrete foundation work will be required.

The design follows a classic “hood” partis, probably because it started out as a simpler roof replacement. The design process gradually opened up the interior, following what lines of the original structure could still be discerned through the later accretions and modifications. This began the trend that led to the hood massing, by suggesting a complete openness to the exterior on the yard elevations and closure on the sides. More extreme forms of this approach preceded the final built version, including use of only sliding panels for transverse partitions, so that the entire building could be transparent in one direction, and an entry from below into the middle of the interior. In the executed version the sense of openness through the house and to the exterior is enhanced by deepening the overhang of the hood, which also provides some relief from the westering sun, though not as much as the sunshades from an earlier scheme would have offered.