by Jincy IypeAug 28, 2020
Snugly resting atop a hill amongst the oaks of Hollywood Hills, a family residence designed by Kristin Becker of Mutuus Studio exudes a desire for highly considered design through simple and flowing spaces. The Hollywood Hills House in Los Angeles, California, delivers a design that is ‘modest in its footprint’ in consideration of the environment and the clients’ motive to simplify their home. Being ardent design enthusiasts, the entertainment-industry based couple called for eclectic interior furnishings that matched their broad taste. Additionally, the designer’s background in dance seems to have reflected in the experientially choreographed sequence of spaces that seamlessly cascade through the home.
Inset on a 45 per cent slope, the house can be entered from the top of the site across a wood and steel bridge spanning across a covered secret garden, and through a great bronze door. A skylight pours shafts of light from the secret garden into the interiors and creates the feeling of a protective fortress, a subtle nod to the clients’ travels to the great castles of Europe and Ireland. The threshold and staircase lead guests down into a grand hall that serves as the primary living space, a gallery of ritzy pieces of furniture and artifacts ranging from African masks to a cast from a childhood bone break displayed as a relic.
The glass wall on the far side of the living area frames a breathtaking panorama of Los Angeles and illuminates the indoors. A heavy metal gear-and-chain pivoting window finds itself complementing the interior material palette and emphasising the notion of the interlaced spaces. Another pivoting window opens out to the east terrace and a secondary dining room that looks upon the pool downstairs.
A double stair interrupts the smooth spatial sequence to define the private and public quarters, the latter continuing down to the media. Blackened steel and walnut veneered cabinets with brass accents adorn the open kitchen while the dining area dons a Finn Juhl dining table and camel leather chairs. The circular, dark central hearth slyly stands between the kitchen and the living area.
The hedonistic Hollywood home is deliberately nestled and anchored into the hill to bring a sense of warmth, safety, and nurture. The design effortlessly blends the old and the new with industrial chic and old-worn interiors, and motifs of the medieval Irish castle and the contemporary Californian lifestyle. The design confidently renounces traditional spatial hierarchies to create an efficient and luxurious residence that commands a presence atop the hills.
Kristen Becker started this project while she was working at Olson Kundig but completed it at Mutuus Studio in Seattle, where she is one of three founders. Becker had earlier designed a loft apartment in the Tribeca neighbourhood of New York City for the clients—a couple with adult children.
Name: Hollywood Hills House
Location: Los Angeles, California
Project designer: Kristen Becker of Mutuus Studio (mentored by Tom Kundig while at Olson Kundig)
Project team: Renee Boone, CJ Christensen
Interior design: Kristen Becker, Mia Sara, Jerry Sarapochiello
(Text by Ankitha Gattupalli, an intern at stirworld.com)