The Hill House was designed by Architects Johnston Marklee & Associates under challenging conditions generated by modern problems of building on a hillside. Designed for an irregular hillside lot in Pacific Palisades, California, while the site for the house design offers panoramic views from Rustic and Sullivan Canyons to Santa Monica Bay, the irregularly shaped lot is situated on an uneven, downhill slope, the form of this 3,600 square foot single family residence results from two economically driven demands, to maximize the allowable volume permitted by the zoning code, and to minimize the amount of foundations and subsequent footprint of the house.
With the canonical Eames House nearby, the 3300 square foot Hill House provocatively continues the Case Study House tradition of experimentation and reinvention of Los Angeles lifestyles. The initial envelope is shaped from a combination of property setbacks in plan and hillside height restrictions in section, and is further refined three-dimensionally according to structural criteria. The resulting structure adopts a site specific form by registering code requirements and optimizing the building’s performance on an inclined plane. Window quantities are minimized for privacy while window sizes are maximized for views and ventilation. The overall cladding strategy seeks to minimize distinction between roof and wall planes while maximizing the differentiation between interior and exterior.