Situated against a steep hillside, downslope from the family’s primary residence, this second home-turned-studio space / guest house takes full advantage of breathtaking views of Pasadena and the San Gabriel Mountains, while maintaining a compact building footprint and city-mandated height restrictions. The layered volumes step downhill, stacking program and differentiating private living spaces from work and entertaining zones, and creating open spaces between the masses for integrated planting areas, covered terraces, and dual linear water features for passive cooling. While the work spaces are the core of the home, they are surrounded by entertaining and lounge areas, and bridged with two communal dining spaces. Floor-to-ceiling glazing disappears into the beveled blackened steel shell to maximize indoor-outdoor rooms, and integrated screens mitigate the desert sun across the carved out volumes. Natural wood folds across horizontal and vertical planes within the steel shell, underscoring the industrial aesthetic, but also creating a neutral backdrop against which the family’s art and photography collection can shine. Native plantings at the roof terraces, and integrated throughout the interior, add color and softness to the palette.