GARDEN RETREAT

Pasadena, CA

The house is set close to a shady street at the base of a steep-sided valley. The Owners wanted to maintain the street-side privacy of the original mid-century house, but sought to create more utility and a stronger visual connection between interior and exterior spaces to the rear, and to add an office/bedroom suite.

The privacy of the street-facing west side was retained and further shielded by lush, terraced planting. Passage through this wall reveals the precipitous, landscaped valley-face to the east of the space. The effect has been enhanced by tilting the monopitch roof planes up in the direction of the slope and replacing the original east wall with an undulating glass screen. Sliding panels in this screen and continuity between interior and exterior surfaces further blurs the distinction between inside and out, providing an authentic indoor/outdoor experience.

The new convertible office/bedroom suite has been partially tucked under the cantilevered side of the existing bedrooms and carved out of the base of the adjacent valley slope. The roof of this semi-subterranean space provides a covered terrace for the bedrooms and connects to the lower terrace serving the living/dining spaces. The new office space receives natural illumination from a skylight over the stair and from windows set in the opposite corner.