Beverly Hills, CA - 2006
Situated on a sloping corner lot across from an elementary school, this 9,000-square-foot house orients itself away from perimeter streets toward rear and side outdoor gardens for privacy. A key requirement of this primary residence for a couple with grown children was ample studio and display space for its resident artist, Kharlene Boxenbaum. The design creates large wall expanses bathed in ambient light, ideal for showcasing paintings. The 2,500-square-foot second floor serves as her studio.
The composition of the house is a dance of cubic volumes, vertical stucco masses, and floating roof planes that reinforce the open floor plan. The largest volumes are wood construction clad in stucco, while the horizontal roof planes become steel fascias that cantilever past the window line and protect the glass from direct sun and rain. Elements of the vertical stucco masses enter into the house to form sculptural backdrops for the fireplaces, playing off wood and stone floors.
Because of the sloping site, the garage, housekeeper’s quarters, and storage are accessed from the lower secondary street and are partially embedded in the earth. The main living level is raised above the basement, allowing the entire floor to open into the landscape. A series of floating planes of stone extend into the front and rear gardens as stairs and transitional platforms, terminating at the back in a reflecting pool.