Los Angeles, United States – Belzberg Architects

Project Year :     2015
Developed Area :     1291.3 m2
Photographs :    Bruce Damonte, Art Gray

The design of the Tree Top Residence isn’t what you’d expect from a tree top residence. Visions of a house on top of a tree would naturally come to mind. But this house is set to defy expectations.

This is not your typical tree top residence.
This is not your typical tree top residence.

The house’s facade is sleek and modern. Its slanting roof, sharp edges, and geometrical angles all scream contemporary. From afar, the house is a standout against its surroundings. It actually looks like it is sitting on top of a canopy of trees.

Sleek, modern, and vibrantly contemporary.
Sleek, modern, and vibrantly contemporary.

Inside, a helical staircase is a focal point of the house. It almost looks like a sculpture. Floors are made of warm timber; walls are painted in white. To break the monotony, there are surprising pops of color here and there.

A helical staircase is a focal point of the house.
A helical staircase is a focal point of the house.

Floor-to-ceiling glass windows bring the outdoors in. The house is filled with natural light during the day. At night, it is illuminated by warm lights, making the house look cozy. The Tree Top Residence is a breathtaking respite from the hectic city life.

Notes from the Architect:

The Tree Top Residence celebrates the site’s complex landscape, merging with it seamlessly and emerging from it atop the canopy of trees that surround it. Built along a natural ridgeline, the long and narrow plan of the three-story house mimics and inverts the angles of the site’s topography, creating dynamic vertical and horizontal relationships.

Vertically, an eccentrically-helical stair functions as a primary organizing element and a sculptural gesture upon entry into the house. On the ground floor, it acts as a threshold into the open plan; on the floor above, it separates the master suite and children’s quarter, while providing a light well to the basement. Horizontally, walls are used sparingly in favor of fluidly connected spaces. Movement and views between dining areas, kitchen, play and gathering spaces are uninterrupted, and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors blend the interior with the outside.

Hidden from the street, the residence is insulated from its neighbors, but open to its site. Canted limestone louvers, and dense planting on the north facade shield the interior from the closest adjacency. Conversely, the rest of the building opens to the site with floor-to-ceiling glazing, relying on both the house’s generous distance from the property line, and the densely wooded valley below to create a natural screen. The design culminates in the master bedroom, which features full-height sliding doors at its cantilevered corner. The orchestration of this view, overlooking a dense canopy of trees, embodies the intent to offer respite from the city below.

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 Exterior Views:

Interior Views:

Drawing Views: