The Hergott-Shepard Residence, located on a steeply sloping hillside in Beverly Hills, creates a complex set of paths, interstitial spaces, and views toward the city from a system of juxtaposed masses and voids. The residence is a carefully calculated orthogonal composition, whose complexity is revealed as guests pass from the street entry through the house and finally to a stunning city vista.
FRAMING VIEWS AND VIEWING ART
The house is organized between two diagonally sited, zinc-clad volumes that contain the main living spaces. These spaces are carefully interwoven by a primary circulation path that encourages guests to switch back and meander across the site, rather than move directly across it. This orchestrated movement leads from the living spaces into a gymnasium and culminates in a dining area separated from the hill by only a wall of sliding glass. As the visitor moves within the residence and towards the steep southern hillside, a series of carefully crafted experiences juxtapose views of the residents’ contemporary art collection with views of the city beyond.
This system of choreographed experience and changing scale is echoed in the formal language of the house. From the street, it appears as a series of large, distinct volumes, arranged into an abstract, opaque, and grand public wall. Beyond the wall, the volumes are reduced, scaled, and transposed until the rear façade can be understood at a more intimate, domestic scale. While the exterior composition affords privacy through articulated density and mass, the very notion of privacy is relentlessly challenged by the spatial play within. Each space is carefully integrated with the next yielding a dynamic system of views and repose, while confronting the need for distinct boundaries within the home. At its most public, the house merges to form a protective and articulate boundary. At its most private, it intimately opens up and invites the city in.
LOCATION / Beverly Hills, California
TYPE / Private Residence
SIZE / 5,000sf
STATUS / Completed 1998
ROLE / Design Architect & Architect of Record
COST / Withheld at client’s request
AWARDS / AIA California Council Merit Award, 2000
AIA Los Angeles Merit Award, 1999