1. Click image to expand

    SPF:architects designed Orum in Los Angeles. Picture: Matthew Momberger

  2. Click image to expand

    SPF:architects designed Orum in Los Angeles. Picture: Matthew Momberger

  3. Click image to expand

    SPF:architects designed Orum in Los Angeles. Picture: Matthew Momberger

  4. Click image to expand

    SPF:architects designed Orum in Los Angeles. Picture: Matthew Momberger

  5. Click image to expand

    SPF:architects designed Orum in Los Angeles. Picture: Matthew Momberger

  6. Click image to expand

    SPF:architects designed Orum in Los Angeles. Picture: Matthew Momberger

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Propellor-shaped glass house floats above LA hillside

Magda Ibrahim
12 Mar 2019

SPF:architects has completed a three-level home designed to subtly “float” above its hilltop environs in Los Angeles, California.

The three-story structure, which takes on the shape of a three-winged propeller, is wrapped in glass that mirrors its sweeping views of the Los Angeles Basin. 

The motivation behind SPF:architects’ (SPF:a) design of the home – named Orum – was to create a residence that could meld into its surroundings while maximizing views.   

“The client wanted a luxurious house where she could throw large events and host her extended family, but she also wanted it to feel welcoming,” said SPF:a founder and design principal, Zoltan E. Pali.

“To make this work, we needed the home’s spaces flow into one another with ease. Our answer was distribute the program across three ‘blades’ that radiate from a central node.” 

As a whole, Orum rises two stories above ground with its third floor burrowed into the hill. 

The ground floor provides the entry and communal spaces for gathering, while the top floor is dedicated to the home’s private spaces. 

The upper southwest and southeast wings of the home hold the master and mini-master suites, both of which are afforded 270-degree views of the city and ocean, thanks to their slim profiles. 

In contrast, the two smaller bedrooms contained within the northern wing are embraced by the site’s adjacent hillside and rear garden, giving them an intimate feel akin to a tree house. 

The glass curtain wall wrapping the third floor was custom developed in part with Swiss company Sky-Frame.

The structure utilizes five different widths of four different opacities—reflective, opaque, translucent, and clear – that together give the structure a visually shifting, shimmering façade. 

"The light in Los Angeles is very dynamic and can be both calming and energizing,” said SPF:a founder and creative director Judit M. Fekete.

“As the site is positioned quite high above the city with almost no impediments, we wanted the house to capture the spirit of these dualities. The huge panels of glass provide the home’s inhabitants with a strong connection to nature and the daily and seasonal arcs of light.” 

The outdoor area includes a kitchen, two fire pits, and an LED-lit pool. All roof, balcony, and hardscape water is directed to a 7,000-gallon underground tank for landscape irrigation. 

The main garage also serves as an event space and can be completely opened on two sides for through views. 

The basement level has been outfitted with a home cinema, gym, spa, cedar sauna, service kitchen, and a wine room big enough to hold a thousand bottles. Also accessible from this floor is the Cube, an attached guesthouse designed for family and staff. The Cube is outfitted with four bedrooms, four baths, a kitchenette, and dedicated access and garage.

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