Built into a steep slope, this contemporary spec house hopes to raise the bar for hillside development in Los Angeles.

"The exterior cladding of the house is custom-made, a play on board-and-batten siding organized into patterns that suggest varied depth and texture," notes the firm. "Painted in subtle gradations from white to gray, the striped shadows of the board-and-battens shift throughout the day. "

When David Freeland and Brennan Buck of architectural design practice FreelandBuck purchased a roughly 6,000-square-foot hillside property in the Mount Washington neighborhood of Los Angeles, they saw potential where many others would have only seen challenge.

Working together with Marieke Ochtman of real estate development firm Urbanite Homes, the architects turned the steep terrain into the site for their first spec house—dubbed the Stack House—that’s designed to push the envelope in hillside residential design.

The four-story Stack House is nestled into a hillside in the city's Mount Washington neighborhood.

The four-story Stack House is nestled into a hillside in the city’s Mount Washington neighborhood. 

Eric Staudenmaier

Named after its stacked box appearance, the 2,207-square-foot vertical home navigated the difficult site constraints—including tricky zoning codes and steep terrain—while prioritizing indoor-outdoor living on all four floors.



"With each offset, the adjacent roof becomes a balcony, expanding interior spaces to the exterior at every floor," explain the architects. "These indoor-outdoor spaces have varied orientations with unique and unobstructed views to the San Gabriel mountains."

“With each offset, the adjacent roof becomes a balcony, expanding interior spaces to the exterior at every floor,” explain the architects. “These indoor-outdoor spaces have varied orientations with unique and unobstructed views to the San Gabriel mountains.”

Eric Staudenmaier

“Unlike conventional hillside homes that appear to have been placed atop the slope, this house is embedded into it, creating a much closer relationship to the landscape,” the architects explain.

"The exterior cladding of the house is custom-made, a play on board-and-batten siding organized into patterns that suggest varied depth and texture," notes the firm. "Painted in subtle gradations from white to gray, the striped shadows of the board-and-battens shift throughout the day. "

“The exterior cladding of the house is custom-made, a play on board-and-batten siding organized into patterns that suggest varied depth and texture,” notes the firm. “Painted in subtle gradations from white to gray, the striped shadows of the board-and-battens shift throughout the day. “

Eric Staudenmaier

See the full story on Dwell.com: Stacked Boxes Form an Experimental Hillside House

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