Nestled deep in the hills of Glassell Park in northeast L.A., Hidden House easily fulfills the three non-negotiable features of our dream home: bucolic seclusion, sustainable architecture, and a big-ass garden. The home, which sits on a rustic 7-acre site that's accessible via a half-mile of unpaved road, offers amazing views of Los Angeles - while feeling a world away from the city.
Designed for a young family by Jeff Allsbrook and Silvia Kuhle of Standard, the house integrates most of the existing 1940s structure it replaced, an approach that reduced the environmental footprint of the project and informed the floor plan's clustered organization. With the L-shaped footprint of the existing home intact, the architects laid out two long rooms—a living area and a kitchen—that merge the social hubs of the house into the natural environment.
Daily life is centered around the canyon courtyard, where the owners host frequent gatherings with friends and family. Meanwhile, the yard is given over to kitchen gardens, a chicken coop, and an organic flower farm, which produces plants for Silver Lake Farms' "flower share" CSA.
Sustainability informs the house's design. Materials include redwood cladding sourced in California, reclaimed end-grain wood flooring, cork flooring, and high efficiency equipment. The house is designed for cross ventilation and natural lighting, reducing the need for air conditioning and electrical lighting.
From the architects:
Hidden house is a modest real-world synthesis of goals that Standard is pursuing in housing competition proposals: situating dwellings within a natural habitat, integrating local agricultural production, re-linking food consumption and production, and supposing that these objectives could support a paradigm-shift in the way we live.
Photos: Catherine Ledner