studio pali fekete architects (spf:a), culver city, calif.

What impressed the judges most about this house was the way Zoltan E. Pali, FAIA, used public and private space to break up its long bar shape. The two linear blocks were Pali's response to the site's unstable soils and to prevailing canyon views. Other than removing 90 feet of dirt, “the only way to get to structurally supported soil was with a system of piles spanned by concrete-grade beams,” he says.

The spaces unfold along the property's eastern edge. On the first floor, an open courtyard separates the garage, utility area, and maid's quarters from the living spaces. The airy second floor holds the master bedroom and bath and, across the glass bridge, a study and second bedroom suite. “You experience the views when you're moving through the house, as opposed to in just one room,” Pali explains.

The judges admired the way the design provides “all the benefits of shading without impeding the view.”

principal in charge / project architect: Zoltan E. Pali, FAIA, Studio Pali Fekete architects (SPF:a)
developer: Scott Oshry, Los Angeles
general contractor: Richard Loring, Archetype, Beverly Hills, Calif.
landscape architect: Jeff Feldman, Blue Door Gardens, Rolling Hills Estate, Calif.
project size: 5,000 square feet
site size: 0.5 acre
construction cost: $250 per square foot
photography: John Edward Linden