The groundwork house is situated on a severely sloping hillside lot in the El Sereno neighborhood of Los Angeles with a grade change of more than 45’-0” (+ 13 metres) and soil prone to landslides.
For personal reasons and feasibility concerns, the clients wanted to execute the project in two phases –
phase 1: foundation, shoring and grading and phase 2: framing, equipment and finishes.
We proposed a shell of a house that acts as a hollow caisson, burrowing down into the site, retaining back the earth around it and providing the foundation with its deep corner columns and concrete block “shoring” walls. Then, at a later date, framing, finishes would be “filled-in.”
The design provides for careful placement of window openings and daylighting shafts from the expansive open “top” deck or ground level provide washing light through the darker back areas of the house, while opening up the bedroom and living areas to views and verandas