On a windswept grassy ridge high above the Pacific Ocean sits a pyramid shaped house with awe inspiring views of the surrounding hills that roll down to the sea. Although breathtaking, the site posed a significant challenge of designing usable spaces and effective circulation on a steep hillside. Inspired by the expansive and wild surroundings, our design sought to capture the natural essence of the landscape while bringing this 1970's-era pyramid home into a more functional relationship with the site.
On a steep hillside, the challenge was to create terraced livable outdoor rooms, while retaining and celebrating the natural land form. Aligned with the grade, the terraces project minimally from the hillside and feel embraced by the natural meadow. On the upper terrace, we located a bocce court and grassy seating area. Below is a vegetable garden with planters and steps made of corten steel. At the lowest largest terrace, we designed an infinity pool that blends earth with sky, and in turn causes the terrace to disappear when viewed from above. A green roof was installed on the pool house, softening its roof line and blurring the transition between the built landscape and the wild hills beyond.
In addition to the built elements, we composed a drought tolerant plant palette that could handle poor soils and harsh coastal conditions. The plantings, which feature waving grasses, coastal perennials and interesting succulents, visually connect the terraces and weaves the design into the natural landscape. The planting features a range of drought tolerant and native plants that meander through the site unifying the landscape with color and texture.