GLUCK+, the New York-based firm founded by Peter Gluck, has recently completed a home in the Hollywood Hills that appears ready for takeoff. Designed for Peter’s son and his family, the home contains details that could seemingly only come from a familial connection between an architect and a client. Built-ins can be found everywhere throughout, from minimalist coat racks by the second entrance door to a sheltered dog run designed to keep the family pet safe from the coyotes that roam the hills.
A wafer-thin, multifaceted roof appears to hover over the property to angle upward toward the city below. “The roof extends far beyond the perimeter of the top level to perpetually shade the interior as well as the outdoor seating areas just beyond it,” Peter Gluck explained to AN. Inside, a remarkably open floor plan and sparing use of structural columns render the ceiling a calming expanse of crisp white that, in turn, brings out the rich textures and colors of the modular furniture, almost all of which was designed by Peter Gluck. Along its perimeter are wood-slatted structures that conceal a wide range of the home’s programmatic elements, including closets, a powder room, and electrical equipment, while also providing a backdrop for a fireplace and TV screen.
Much like the nearby John Lautner-designed Chemosphere, the home’s steep site was long considered to be unsuitable for construction; that is, until GLUCK+ divided the site into two distinct tectonic halves to minimize its impact on the landscape while creating a flat area just large enough for a backyard. The result is a home whose bottom half, carved deeply into the hillside, provides an ample plinth for a top half with a swimming pool, a cactus garden, an expansive green space (a rare feature for a home in the Hollywood Hills), and a pavilion-like structure that surrenders to a 180-degree view of the city—from Universal Studios to the Hollywood Sign and the Griffith Observatory—through floor-to-ceiling windows.
While the 7,500-square-foot home remains deceptively modest in scale on its upper floor where the majority of entertainment spaces are located, the bedrooms, offices, and other private and family-oriented rooms are all hidden away on the lower level. At the bottom of the stairs, where an original metal facade panel from Herzog & de Meuron’s Walker Art Center is prominently displayed, is a family room with an entertainment system neatly concealed by warm wooden panels. The bedrooms and offices line the northern half to receive copious natural light and more views of the city, and the screening room and closets on the opposite half are cooled by the natural insulation of the hillside. While the lower level often feels as open and airy as the one above, a series of pocket doors throughout the wide central corridor allows the family to determine the boundary between public and private for themselves.
At night, the parasol-like roof is lit from below to frame the home’s lofted perspective of the city in a manner as dramatic as the vista itself.