bestor architecture honors los angeles modernism with 'house stepping down a hill'

bestor architecture honors los angeles modernism with 'house stepping down a hill'

a modernist icon gets a contemporary neighbor


Occupying on a natural promontory, adjacent to Raphael Soriano’s iconic Lipetz House from 1936, Bestor Architecture‘s contemporary ‘House Stepping Down a Hill’ overlooks Los Angeles. With this new residential project, the LA-based design team pays homage to its early modernist neighbor to create a dialogue between past and present.


Led by architect Barbara Bestor, the team seized the opportunity presented by the adjacent promontory which offered an expanded canvas for the construction of a larger primary residence. Inspired by the distinctive ‘streamline moderne’ boat shape of the Lipetz House, which showcases a music room with panoramic views of the reservoir and California‘s majestic San Gabriel Mountains, the architects create a structure that would gracefully dip below the view horizon of its neighbor while crafting a legible shape that gently meanders along the hillside.

bestor architecture honors los angeles modernism with 'house stepping down a hill'images © Bruce Damonte@brucedamonte



bestor architecture mimics the shape of the hillside


The architecture of the ‘House Stepping Down a Hill’ results from the unique design philosophy of the team at Bestor Architecture. Departing from the prow-like shape and continuous windows of Soriano’s creation, this new dwelling harmonizes with the landscape by mimicking the shape of the hillside itself. The roof volume, shaped by the extrusion of repeating peaks and slopes, establishes a captivating visual rhythm that integrates the house with its sloping environment.

bestor architecture house stepping



inside the ‘house stepping down a hill’


The living room pavilion, the centerpiece of the house, showcases the structural prowess of the design. Supported by two grand trusses, this expansive space provides a panoramic view of the ocean through a new deck and dining area. Simultaneously, the living room pavilion establishes a deep connection to the reservoir and mountains through the inviting pool and patio. A lower private pavilion, housing the bedrooms, gracefully flanks the public pavilion, creating a sense of balance and harmony within the dwelling.

bestor architecture house stepping



a durable home with an industrial materiality


Delving into the construction and materials employed, Bestor Architects demonstrate their meticulous attention to detail and commitment to contemporary design principles. The architects have utilized three primary materials in the creation of this extraordinary residence: board-formed concrete, prefabricated trusses, and 80-millimeter PVC industrial roofing. These choices not only exemplify an intentional industrial aesthetic but also account for the specific demands of the Western US regional environment.

bestor architecture house stepping



The ‘House Stepping Down a Hill’ takes shape with robust and resilient construction techniques, intentionally designed to withstand the threat of fire, which is all too familiar in this region. The PVC roll roofing, enveloping the entire roof as well as critical vertical surfaces, serves as a ‘cool roof’ that reflects light while providing a cost-effective protective solution for the high fire zone. The foundation of the structure is formed by durable concrete, while pre-fabricated metal trusses offer essential structural support.

bestor architecture house steppingframeless, full-height glazing slides open to extend the living area onto an outdoor patio


the array of gables are expressed along the interior with sloping ceilings

bestor architecture honors los angeles modernism with 'house stepping down a hill'
large windows and skylights fill the home with sunlight bestor architecture house steppinginterior spaces open to sweeping views of California’s San Gabriel Mountains


the project maximizes use of outdoor space with a swimming pool notched into stepping patios

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