SteelHouse
hill-loft for living and working

2008 - 2011
Nichols Canyon, Los Angeles, USA
The house began as an exhibit within the 2000 - 2001 travelling Eames exhibition, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the iconic Eames house. Utilizing a non-site, living and working were to be integrated with sustainable design. While the exhibition funding died, the house was born.

The dry hillside landscape of Nichols Canyon is overlaid with a heterogeneous residential urbanism. The found site here was a leftover – steep, without utilities on a substandard street.

The design strategy balanced local zoning requirements with minimal earth removals. The house digs into the hill, the lower level a concrete tube of space open at each end. Interior spaces are for working or sleeping. The upper level is a viewing platform, a steel moment frame with non-structural walls, flexible living open to canyon views.

The house is a power plant, generating 80% of its energy needs. Radiant heating and cooling are within fly-ash concrete floors. Continuous clerestory windows provide natural ventilation. Fire resistant cement board cladding is separated from the insulated enclosure for cooling. Interior materials and fixtures are selected for sustainability. Articulated in layers, a sun umbrella with solar collectors and operable shade screens hovers over the roof and south entry. The screens and continuous interior curtains make a constantly changing façade.
agps architecture ltd. / Marc Angélil, Sarah Graham (PV), Garo Balmanoukian, Mark Ericson, Mark Motonaga
BW Smith, Structural Engineering

Start : 2008 End : 2011 Class : Project Class : Architecture Class : Living Priority : 01