The new Bridge Residence turned the challenge of a sloping site into an opportunity to evoke quiet seclusion while creating a grand statement. The taller wing of the L-shaped house abuts a foothill to the east and features textured, dry-stacked Hera limestone that forms a predominantly opaque façade facing the neighbors uphill. Conversely, three levels of floor-to-ceiling glass, protected by deep, faceted frames, opens downhill into the site. This juxtaposition, while using divergent architectural languages, optimizes privacy, solar orientation, and use of the site.
Surrounded by a mature oak grove, the building accommodates access to the outdoors from each floor as the landscape slopes. Not only are connections from the house to the exterior important, but views through are used to accentuate the ubiquity of the verdant surroundings, the pinnacle of this is evident in the kitchen. Conceived as the control center or “bridge” of the house, the kitchen’s generous volume projects perpendicular from the hill, giving it high visibility upon arrival and to the other wing of the house. The nearly 12’ space, with floor-to-ceiling glazing on the north and south sides, appears to float when doors on both sides of the garage/multi-purpose room below are open. Its appearance emphasizes the relationship between the built form and the outdoors, and the kitchen’s place as the focal point of the home.
All images courtesy of Belzberg Architects
Hagy Belzberg, FAIA, OAA
Founding Principal Belzberg Architects, APC
Hagy Belzberg received his Masters of Architecture with Distinction from Harvard University. In addition to Belzberg Architects professional awards and recognition, Hagy Belzberg has been honored by the American Institute of Architects California Council as an Emerging Talent, and in 2008 he won the prestigious designation of “Emerging Voice” by the Architectural League of New York. In 2010 Hagy Belzberg was elected to The College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects for “notable contributions to the advancement of the profession of architecture”.
Since 1994, Hagy has held Graduate and Undergraduate level instructorship and lecture positions at UCLA, USC and The Southern California Institute of Architecture.
In the summer of 2013, Hagy Belzberg and Belzberg Architects have been invited to exhibit work at MOCA’s “A New Sculpturalism, Contemporary Architecture from Southern California”. This is the first extensive, scholarly examination of the radical forms that have become prolific in Southern California architecture during the past twenty-five years.