House on Siena Way

House on Siena Way

Architect
SPF:architects
Location
Culver City, CA, USA | View Map
Project Year
2022
Category
Private Houses
Mark Kelley

House on Siena Way

SPF:architects as Architects

Tucked into a steep hillside lot in Bel Air, the 14,000 SF House on Siena Way tested our firmly grounded modernist principles.

With three full designs produced due to changing stakeholders and client interests since 2013, the main goals of the project never changed, namely: to resolve the site’s challenges in an elegant way, deliver sufficient square footage despite onerous building height limitations, and provide both an intimate family setting and expansive entertainment abilities for the future residents.

photo_credit Mark Kelley
Mark Kelley

The project, located in Bel Air, presented many challenges including the site’s steepness, narrow street frontage, neighbor-imposed building height restrictions, and difficult vehicular access. By following the natural contours of the site, we maximized the plan, pulled the building down into the site, and stepped the massing to follow the topography. The result is a non-definable curvilinear form, still abstracted in architectural geometry, but with a more fluid and organic shape.

photo_credit Mark Kelley
Mark Kelley

A specific one story above grade neighborhood height restriction meant we had to dig deep into the site to unearth the needed additional square footage required for the development to be feasible financially.The challenge, then, was in bringing daylight down to the lower levels. Two large light wells, one with a monumental stair and glass elevator and one that acts as a sunken court with a sculptural olive tree create the required daylight and ventilation making the lower levels pleasing.

photo_credit Mark Kelley
Mark Kelley

The courtyard not only provides daylighting but brings nature to some of the most frequently used areas of the house, allowing the frequented areas of the upper level to experience the tree’s crown and the lower level to experience the olive’s trunk. 

Appearing relatively modest from the street, the home is secretly expansive. Always working to avoid producing a home that feels cold and vast, our aim in designing any residence is to enable future inhabitants to feel comfortable in all circumstances: whether they are hosting a large fundraising party or enjoying an intimate family dinner. Reversed from the traditional approach, the entry-level consists mostly of ‘public’ spaces while the lower level contains most of the ‘private’ spaces.

photo_credit Mark Kelley
Mark Kelley

In order to resolve the complex geometries on the exterior of the house, we revisited stucco as a facade solution, despite its historical overuse. Requiring very few joint lines, the stucco looks almost monolithic, pairing well with the bronze-painted aluminum slats found on the exterior.

Uniting the interior is a restrained palette and consistent finishes: walls are white, while floors and wall paneling are walnut. The stone throughout is light beige, a color that is repeated in the travertine entry wall. Large amounts of glass with black anodized aluminum frames allow ample light and ventilation into the home.

photo_credit Mark Kelley
Mark Kelley

Despite having a more dynamic and fluid geometry than our typical work (the plan is multi-axial: relationships or 'lanes' are turned, rather than straight), the house is still set up on a strict 20-foot grid - a theme we find ourselves returning to consistently in residential architecture.

Team:
Plus Development Group, Builder’s Team
Grover Hollingsworth & Assoc.
Lighting Design Alliance
John Labib + Associates
FORMA Engineering, Inc.
South Coast Engineering Group
Ecocentrix
Aquatecture Pools, Inc.
Ferrari Forge

photo_credit Mark Kelley
Mark Kelley
photo_credit Mark Kelley
Mark Kelley
photo_credit Mark Kelley
Mark Kelley

Material Used:
1. Flooring: Walnut, Blonde Black Walnut Flooring, Madera
2. Skylights: Skylight window, Skylight, Velux
3. Bar grating: Bar grating, McNichols
4. Ceiling: USG Drywall Suspension System, USG Ceiling Solutions

Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrand
WindowVelux
CeilingUSG Corporation
ManufacturersMcNICHOLS CO.
Flooring: Walnut, Blonde Black Walnut FlooringMadera Furniture Company
Product Spec Sheet
Window
Skylight by Velux
Ceiling
Drywall Suspension System by USG Corporation
Manufacturers
Bar Grating by McNICHOLS CO.
Flooring: Walnut, Blonde Black Walnut Flooring
Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
Blanchette Architects revamp an old carpet factory into a vibrant office space
18 Aug 2022 News
Blanchette Architects revamp an old carpet factory into a vibrant office space

A well-known Montreal-based firm, Blanchette Architects renovated an old factory building for an ind... More

Archstudio revitalizes a rural house in Beijing’s suburbs with recycled wooden construction
17 Aug 2022 News
Archstudio revitalizes a rural house in Beijing’s suburbs with recycled wooden construction

Located in a typical Chinese village on the outskirts of Beijing, ‘Mixed house’ designed... More

Park + Ride by HUB is a paradigm for sustainable mobility
17 Aug 2022 News
Park + Ride by HUB is a paradigm for sustainable mobility

Located in the city of Antwerp in Belgium, Park + Ride designed by HUB is a large-scale public parki... More

Monologue Art Museum by Wutopia Lab offers an oasis free from worldly distractions
17 Aug 2022 News
Monologue Art Museum by Wutopia Lab offers an oasis free from worldly distractions

In Qinhuangdao, China, the Monologue Art Museum by Wutopia Lab opened on the park green of SEATOPIA... More

ERRE Arquitectura transforms a disused space into an oasis of well-being
16 Aug 2022 News
ERRE Arquitectura transforms a disused space into an oasis of well-being

Located in the heart of Valencia in Spain, Clinica Alejandria designed by ERRE Arquitectura is a pla... More

Bellgave residence offers a striking contemporary evolution of California mid-century modernism
16 Aug 2022 News
Bellgave residence offers a striking contemporary evolution of California mid-century modernism

Situated in the Hollywood Hills at the edge of a steep promontory, the private residence Bellgave by... More

Australia’s first purpose-built centre for LGBTQI+ communities in Australia offers a diverse range of community services behind a distinctly tubular façade
15 Aug 2022 News
Australia’s first purpose-built centre for LGBTQI+ communities in Australia offers a diverse range of community services behind a distinctly tubular façade

In Melbourne’s beachside suburb of St Kilda, the Victorian Pride Centre is the first purpose-b... More

Visitor Centre for the Bernau Trade Union School celebrates and reveals a celebrated Bauhaus Monument
15 Aug 2022 News
Visitor Centre for the Bernau Trade Union School celebrates and reveals a celebrated Bauhaus Monument

In 2017 the iconic Bauhaus work ‘Bundesschule Bernau,’ built by Bauhaus director Hannes... More