Site Size: 3,000 square feet
Project Size: 1,400 square foot house, 200 square foot garage
- Engineer(s): Gordon Polon Engineers (Structural); Sullivan Partnership (Mechanical)
- Metal Panels: Aluminum Sheets
Program: Architect Jon Frishman spent more than a decade building his own 1,400-square-foot home and studio located on a steep parcel in Laurel Canyon, the increasingly pricey Los Angeles neighborhood bordering West Hollywood. The three-story house contains an office on the bottom floor, kitchen and living areas on the main floor, and a bedroom on the upper level, where an adjoining Ipe deck overlooks the city. It also contains a one-car garage and carport with a retractable roof.
Solution: Frishman purchased the lot in 1997, and after years of construction, the wood- and steel-framed structure was completed in December 2011 for $250,000. At $150 per square foot, Frishman did much of the construction himself while maintaining his own architecture practice. (Before striking out on his own, Frishman worked for Richard Meier & Partners on the Getty Center.)
Though Frishman tore down the existing house, he retained its footprint and many of its structural elements. His design emphasizes the site’s sloping and wooded landscape with expansive glass walls, a steel trellis support system, and a thin glass partition separating interior and exterior slate floors. In addition, Frishman incorporated numerous space- and cost-saving strategies: the laminated glass stairs double as a shower ceiling, a floor hatch in the living room leads to stairs down to the studio below, and air grilles provide passive cooling.