Sierra Madre Residence

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The wooded hills to the east of Pasadena, with their proximity to the San Gabriel Mountains and Angeles National Forest, remain dramatically rustic. That was the location of this house, for a fifth-generation Pasadena family of four. A substantial residence of some 8000 square feet, one that could accommodate an extended family for whom a Friday dinner for 35 was a regular affair.

We distributed the programmatic elements between two wings, each following the contours of the landscape. A three-story block that drops down into the ravine and a series of one-story volumes that tumble gently down the existing slope. The house embraces it’s setting in two ways: by capturing both public and private views, and by adapting itself to the topography.

Uniting all of the main floor’s spaces is a single-loaded hall that runs nearly the full length of the house’s public. The residents requested a Craftsman house – the style, like their family, flourished in Pasadena – and the extensive use of Douglas fir and stacked stone, and repeating boxlike fixtures and custom-crafted furnishings reference the work of Craftsman style pioneers.