paastudio, pacific palisades

Just about every design decision architect Ivo Venkov made on this project—the home (and office) he shares with his wife and fellow architect, Rossi Venkov—related back to the site, a steep hillside overlooking the Pacific. Permits alone took two years to wrangle, and 37 pilings support the hill-hugging house. “It's designed specifically for this location, to fit within the environment,” says Venkov. “It also takes into account basic passive solar principles.”

To that end, skylights ventilate the house and, along the north side, stationary fir louvers moderate summer sun but invite winter light. Computer modeling positioned the louvers at exactly 19 inches apart to maintain the ocean view line. Inside, it's all about “livable minimalism.” “We wanted to enjoy the space and not have to step very carefully or move like an Egyptian,” Venkov says. He used varying floor materials and suspended ceilings rather than partitions to come up with what he calls a “delicate definition of space.”

Best of all, though, is the view. That glorious ocean is visible from multiple terraces and just about every room in the house. Only the top-level secondary bathroom is land-locked.

principal in charge / project architect: Ivo Venkov, PAASTUDIO
general contractor / interior designer: PAASTUDIO
project size: 3,000 square feet
site size: 0.1005 acres
construction cost: Withheld
photographer: Klaus Knoll