Montalba Architects has recently completed a 4,200 square-foot house overlooking the city of Pasadena, California. The LR2 residence follows the “matchbox” concept, where the layered volumes of the structure are integrated into the downhill slope of the lot, creating open spaces between the structures for integrated planting areas, covered terraces, and dual linear water features for passive cooling.
Outdoor breezeways, porches, courtyards, covered walkways, and an immense rooftop deck extend the reaches of the limited floor area to the outdoors and provide immense views. The house includes guest suites, a home office, gym, and a theatre screening room, as well as abundant outdoor spaces, all showcasing views of the surrounding hills and valley.
The entry space flows with the landscape, guiding visitors along a reaching sidewalk that extends under the mass of the building. The compression of the resulting space offers a unique arrival experience incorporating the natural creek just beyond the front door, which is nestled on the second floor. Following the existing creek, the front stairs create an arching path to a bridged entry portal, all the while showcasing panoramic views of the house.
As the front door opens, the dark, angular façade of paneled concrete gives way to a light-filled interior of softwood and bright white finishes. Upon entering, visitors find themselves within an indoor/outdoor living space. Once inside the residence, stairs descend to a private screening room or ascend to the third-floor living spaces.