Giovannitti House

An intricately composed house provides privacy and serenity on an intimate hillside site.

The design for this house developed in direct response to its small, sloped suburban site.  Because it is surrounded by other residences, the design was driven by a desire to maximize privacy while also creating strategically framed views that would offer an expansive sense of space.

The overall plan consists of a double square; one is elevated into a three-story cubic volume containing most of the program, while the other is devoted to the service functions of the garage and kitchen, while also providing an open terrace on its roof. The three-story volume is sculpted on the ground level to provide a second terrace, shielded from view and partly roofed by the projecting volume of the third floor. Inside, the program is organized vertically, giving all the interior spaces unexpected openness. Throughout this small house there is a subtle dialogue between open and closed spaces, private and public realms, with each element enhanced by the play of contrasts and transitions.

On the facades, porcelain-enameled steel panels and stucco protect the private spaces from view, while a delicate, steel-framed glass skin allows light to penetrate the public spaces. This skin permits views to the outside that are balanced and framed by more massive solid forms, as well as by the large existing trees on the property, which were preserved.