Referencing Case Study architecture, Three Step House in Silver Lake gradually climbs a curving site.

Aptly named Three Step House for its three tiers, this residence by Los Angeles–based studio CHA:COL sits on one of the few remaining plots in the Silver Lake that hasn’t been built on in the past. The house’s steeply sloping site, which looks out on downtown Los Angeles, was only accessible from the lower end, so it was crucial to locate the rooms and living spaces at just the right levels to capture the views. 

Because of the nature of the site, the house would need to be accessible vertically from the public access road, so it couldn’t be set too far high up, or too far back. And since the site curved steeply, the house would need to use the topography intelligently. 

Reinforced concrete was used for the retaining walls and slabs along all grades, while wood framing with steel framing beams were used at cantilevered areas.

Reinforced concrete was used for the retaining walls and slabs along all grades, while wood framing with steel framing beams were used at cantilevered areas.  

Courtesy of Lauren Moore

Apurva Pande and Chinmaya Misra, the husband-and-wife duo behind CHA:COL, responded to the owners’ needs with a three-step dwelling, where each level precisely addresses the topography to avoid the need for elevators or excessive switchback stairs.  

“We wanted to ‘cap’ the dwelling with a generous, almost sweeping canopy that would keep the majority of the high sun exposure areas in shade,” says Pande. “We also played with the roof volume to break free from the constraints of a typical ‘box modern’ home.”

Courtesy of Ed Duarte

The owners also wanted their home to maximize the city views, and include plenty of outdoor areas. 

From a spatial perspective, each level has its own unique purpose.

From a spatial perspective, each level has its own unique purpose. 

Courtesy of Lauren Moore

See the full story on Dwell.com: A Tiered Home in Los Angeles Hugs a Steep Slope

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