Standard Architecture sculpts calmness out of a sloping road for Bonnie Hill

Hill House

A modern white home with a cantilevered roof hangs over a canyon

Perched atop a slope above a natural canyon, Bonnie Hill, an elongated modern home, cuts a striking contrast against Los Angeles’s preserved landscape of native oaks and chaparral covers. Overlooking the Angeles National Forest and Hollywood Sign, the 3,000-square-foot home by Standard Architecture presents as a wall of full-length white stucco that rises from the grade on the public-facing road side. On the other end, the walls are almost absent, as the cantilevered concrete roof hangs over the canyon. Housed within the sharply lined residence is a calm respite from the city that doubles as a home and office.

A road winds down before branching off away from a white modern, linear ranch-style home
The white stucco wall faces the public-facing side of the home to offer a sense of privacy (Yoshihiro Makino)

Backed by a purple sky, a modern home is lit up through its many glass sliding doors
Bonnie Hill is open on three sides inviting the calming nature of its surroundings indoors (Yoshihiro Makino)

The minimal yet striking sculpture of the home was largely determined by the many constraints of its locale. “It was a really challenging site to work on,” Jeffrey Allsbrook, architect and copartner of Standard Architecture, told AN. “There was an existing home there which was not slipping, but kind of sinking into the ground.” This required remedial soil work which led the team to place a concrete table underneath the residence that sits atop more concrete piles. The tables lended itself to designing the home as a linear, ranch-like floor plan that runs parallel to the street.

A view of the mountains is seen from a wood and concrete patio
A concrete cantilevered roof hangs over the wood-dominated patio (Yoshihiro Makino)

Natural materials and a neutral color palette form the living room of a house
Simple and natural materials underline the furnishings, including the Japanese handmade ceramics (Yoshihiro Makino)

The home is intended to be a tranquil place to rest as well as a creative office for homeowner Kaori Hayashi, founder Hayashi International Promotion, who intends to use the space to work and host clients. The home will also serve as a guest house for Hayashi’s parents who work with her in Japan and come to visit often.

To establish these dual functions, the architects created a free-flowing layout that runs from the living room to the kitchen and outdoor patio. Each provides different places to work and easily collaborate while continuing the home’s warm minimalist style. Wood floors, oak shutters, plenty of natural light, and a sparse color palette are situated around Hayashi’s collection of natural and often Japanese furnishings to establish a sense of contemporary calm.

A Calcatte kitchen island is set in a kitchen with many windows
White lacquered cabinets and wood-clad walls surround the Calacatta marble island in the kitchen (Yoshihiro Makino)

Glass sliding doors open onto a patio of a home
Glass siding doors provide entry to the patio with shutters designed by Standard Architecture (Yoshihiro Makino)

While public areas revel in their openness, the two bedrooms prioritize seclusion. The hallway that leads to the first bedroom narrows to offer a better sense of privacy, and the primary bedroom is tucked away at the end of the path. This organization of the home creates balance between working hours and rest.

A cantilevered roof hans but does not entirely cover a patio of a home
Bonnie Hill overlooks Angeles National Forest and the Hollywood Sign (Yoshihiro Makino)

Clerestory windows and a center staircase let light and structure to a home
Danish vintage items and chairs, Noguchi lighting, and other handmade furnishings decorate the space (Yoshihiro Makino)

Running down the middle of the space is the staircase that begins at the garage entry level and runs upward toward a large lightwell. “Bonnie Hill is a very sloping hillside road. So on one end of this long bar building you are level or even maybe slightly below the street, and on the other end, you’re exactly like nine feet above the street, and that’s where we’ve tucked in that garage where the private entrance comes from, where most of the bar looks like it’s sitting right on street level,” said Silvia Kuhle, architect and copartner of the firm. The lightwell floods down into the core of the home, uniting the main public entrance and the private garage entry. That way, either option of entering the home provides a view of the light.

A wooden door provides entry into a tranquil, meditative space
Natural wood and stone surfaces create a warm modern interior (Yoshihiro Makino)

A rectangular light well provides sunlight down a staircase
The stairwell is flooded with light from an overhead monitor (Yoshihiro Makino)

At first glance, the light appears to come from a skylight, but it’s actually a monitor. The architects opted for the sloping monitors in order to continue the sense of privacy in the home. “We thought about the fact that when you go further up, you actually look down on the roof,” continued Kuhle. “So we tried to make the roof as simple as possible and hide everything. No installations can be seen in the skylight.”

A rectangular lightwell creates clean lines in the hallway of a home
The staircase and its lightwell anchor the home while connecting its two entryways (Yoshihiro Makino)

A Basatina fireplace surround sits in the living room of a home
A Basaltina fireplace surround and oak cabinetry define the living room (Yoshihiro Makino)

The careful attention to shielding the roof adds another layer to build Bonne Hill as a zen, creative nest. Blocking the public from looking in, the house prioritizes looking out, gaining its sense of place and inspiration from the San Gabriel mountains and beyond.