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A comprehensive renovation and addition project, Hillside House architecturally transformed an existing bungalow property into a contemporary home. Situated at the edge of the ravine on a hill, the new design takes full advantage of the beautiful, natural context by cantilevering at the back and employing transparent facades. The design team spent a considerable amount of time investigating various perspectives of the vistas. This research informed the eventual volumetric geometry of the new addition and its openings towards the ravine akin realist paintings.


Interior space is divided into two wings, separating private and communal spaces. These two volumes junction in the middle, connected by the circulation features: entrance and sculptural stairs. Seamless integration of the old and new were practiced using geometry and materiality. Cathedral ceilings throughout are reminiscent of the traditional style of design while the reverse roof symbolically opens towards the untouched nature and the horizon as a symbol of the new and the future. The architectural use of the reverse roof also offered other advantages, namely, concealing the mechanical systems, maximizing natural light and connecting visually with the ravine.

The materials were carefully selected. Stone Veneers re-clad the existing first floor while Fiber Cement boards were used for the facade of the new addition on the second floor, distinguishing the old from the new. Reclaimed wood were utilized as accents to lend a sense of continuity throughout the house.


Structurally, maintaining the first floor and stacking an entire second floor addition proved to be a challenge. However, through collaboration with the contractor and architectural interventions it became not only possible, but rewarding.

Hillside house


Project Team: Ali Malek, Sean Khalili

Construction: Barroso Homes

Structural Engineer: Mina Design Group

Lot Size: 105' x 285' - Ravine Lot

Living Area: 7,500 sq. ft

Design: 2011

Completion: 2012

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