The Amoroso Residence in Los Angeles
This home in Venice Beach is a study of lightness and weight, gravitas and ease. The narrow Venice lot inspired a design of striking linearity and the house is formed of three stacked levels. The concrete exterior of the first level creates a rough, geode-like texture with a strong sense of grounding. The second level is a glazed, free-form space, and the third level appears to float above the rest. The charred black wood of the exterior restores the balance of weight and texture, and the open roof terrace completes the composition. Overall, the house radiates a quality of relaxed elegance and immediacy of expression; visual and sensory experiences are aligned with functional aspects, achieving a balance of poetry and pragmatism.
The massing of the house was designed by stacking the three layers and gently shifting the relationship between all three, generating space for the linear pool and forming open patios sheltered by cantilevered overhangs. The careful arrangement of solids and voids makes optimum use of the buildable area, leaving space for an elegant garden as part of the unified experience of the site. Designed by the WHY Landscape Workshop, the garden is planted with a combination of fragrant Mediterranean and native Californian species.
While the design maintains a minimalist simplicity, key details throughout the house create a sense of subtle grandeur. The stairways have been stacked to form a triple-height void which extends from the ground floor to a skylight in the roof, opening a core of light through the center of the building. This experience is paralleled on the second floor, where the lanterna on the roof is visible from the base of the second floor staircase; the house appears to be built around a transcendent axis of light, marking the passing of time throughout the day.