Arshia Architects: Winner of Architect of the Year Awards 2022. Perched on a hilltop in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles, overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the Los Angeles basin, the project gently lands a dynamic building on top of a buried podium that replicates the natural topography that was once there before the area was subdivided for development. This hollow post-war neighborhood has been transforming gradually, overtaken by recent developments that rely on size rather than spatial quality. The concept set out to reduce the massing of a rather large project, for it to lodge within the neighborhood proportionally. It proposes an example of what can be offered within the confines of stringent regulations.
This project engages an exercise in spatial relationships to accelerate the programs of the house. It utilizes the split-level design to follow this topography of the hill and to connect the floor half-story plates. The plates form adjacencies, both visual and functional therefore allowing twice the utility of an otherwise dissected organization.
The design was informed by streamline automotive design, proposing every technology in the house to have discreet performance, allowing the sensory performance of the architectural space. A courtyard that is created by daylighting the lower bedrooms from the buried podium, also acts as the rainwater runoff filtration system for the entire site. The project meets or exceeds stringent California green building and energy conservation standards such as low-flow plumbing systems, drought tolerant planting, rainwater filtration, photovoltaic integration, high efficiency building envelope and glazing, HERS rating of the mechanical system and more.
Architect of the Year Awards Category
Arshia Mahmoodi (Design Principal), Xinlei Li (Project Manager , Project Designer), Yuheng Huang (Project Designer), Fang Cui (Project Designer), Ruby Wu (Project Designer), Zhishan Liu (Project Designer)
BOLD Engineer & Associates Inc.
GreyStone Engineering Group Inc.
Hillside Inspections, Inc.
©Paul Vu / Arshia Architects
Founded in 2006, Arshia Architects emerged from the tectonic breach of the aesthetic experience and the act of building – purposely fusing this gap with novel substance.
We are a collective of designers dedicated to optimizing experiences between sentient and non-sentient domains, whose aim is to decipher our relationship with the world and its components at large and the implications our built environment has on its trajectory into the future. Our practice has been recognized recurringly by national and international citations such as the American Institute of Architects and featured in prestigious venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.