Known for its seemingly endless urban sprawl and noisy traffic, Los Angeles makes finding serenity no easy task. But Los Angeles- and Berlin-based firm Anonymous Architects has managed to create a soothing design that sits perched up high in a forest just a short distance away from the bustling cityscape. To blend the home into its idyllic surroundings, the architects incorporated a number of wooden elements into the design, including reclaimed cedar siding and a massive tree that grows straight up through the middle of the home.
Located in Echo Park, California, the 2,400-square-foot residence is embedded onto a steep hillside. Although the topography was challenging to say the least, the designers managed to use it to their advantage.
According to the architects, the goal from the outset was to preserve the site’s natural features as much as possible. This meant cantilevering the home over the sloped landscape using a concrete base for support. This strategy enabled the house to sit high up in the air, giving it a treehouse effect. Cantilevering the structure over the landscape also meant that the home would enjoy more green space, both planted and natural.
The layout and shape of the home was also marked by the existing vegetation. Set between three large cedars, the frame was angled to fit in between the trees. The fourth tree grows up straight up through one of the bedrooms, soaring up from the forest floor through the roof.
The house, which is a rental, was conceived as two separate units that can also serve as a large family home. The main unit is comprised of two bedrooms and is designed for a family of four. From the living space, an outdoor walkway leads to the other unit with an additional bedroom, living area, bath and kitchen. If not in use as part of the main home, it can be used as an office or closed off as a rental space.
Throughout the interior, homage is respectfully paid to the natural settings through the use of wood and natural light. Reclaimed chestnut flooring runs through the structure. Wooden doors, bookshelves and cabinets were also custom-made for the house. A covered wooden deck provides the perfect place to take in the forest views.
In addition to its reclaimed materials, the home also boasts a number of sustainable features, including a solar water heater. The residence was built with tight insulation to keep the interior at stable temperatures during the year, and optimal natural light reduces the need for electricity during the day.
Photography by Steve King via Anonymous Architects