Chalon Road House

Los Angeles, California

Swatt | Miers first new residential project in Los Angeles commenced construction in June 2016. Located in the prestigious Bel Air Hills, the site of this two-story 9,000-square-foot home presented a number of difficult challenges: a relatively small and constrained buildable area from which the remainder of the site rises up at a 45-degree angle; geotechnical investigations that revealed traces of a fault zone running through portions of the site requiring a 160-foot long by 12-foot wide soil nail retaining wall to resist forces from the steep hill behind; and the City of Los Angeles’s set back and height requirements that combined with the resultant small site area defined a strict three-dimensional envelope into which the home had to be sculpted. The design, therefore, with its stepped levels and sweeping second-floor curved form is a direct response to the city’s zoning envelope.

Despite the limited building area, the home is sited so as to establish three distinct outdoor areas—vehicular entry courtyard, central garden court, and a second-floor bedroom garden that engages the dramatic hill behind. Upon entering the site, one’s first experience is the elegantly landscaped vehicular-entry court featuring a two-car garage and four tree-shaded visitor spaces. The ambiance of this carefully detailed space is defined by the integration of special paving, decomposed granite, and drought-tolerant landscape further accented by the soothing sounds emanating from a linear water feature that welcomes visitors as they cross over to enter the home.

The first floor of this six-bedroom home features a two-story living/dining area that opens onto the garden courtyard and designed for year round indoor-outdoor living. A breakfast room/kitchen/family area also opens onto the garden, while a guest suite adjacent to the garden contains its own private patio. The first floor also features a home theater, wine cellar, and parking garage.

A striking open-tread stair with glass railing leads to the second floor. While this floor overlooks both the garden and vehicular courtyards, each bedroom has its own private garden away from the public areas. In addition, this floor features an office, indoor-outdoor sitting areas, and a two-story gym with a spiral staircase that accesses a dramatic roof terrace.

The stepped exterior design integrates light-colored stucco walls with stone and cedar accents that together, present a warm modern expression unique to the area.