Brentwood Residence

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The residents of this house suggested a structure of some 8000 square feet. To make it less massive, we chose to cast some of the entertainment areas as exterior rooms. Facilitating large operable expanses of glass, and encouraging a complex, rectilinear design in which rooms slipped into and out of one another — in some places private and intimate, in others open and grand.

This resulted in three outdoor entertainment areas: a courtyard onto which the living and dining rooms open, a sunken conversation pit, and a patio that spans the area outside the family room and kitchen along the house’s rear. When all the sliding doors are opened, the entire back of the house becomes a series of intercommunicating, richly varied indoor/outdoor spaces.

We derived architectural interest from surprising transformations of scale. Entering the high-ceilinged vestibule, for example, one ascends the stairs to a low-ceilinged second-floor landing – a moment of compression that’s released upon moving into the bedroom area, where the ceilings once again soar upward.