Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP

Spyglass Hill Residence

Corona del Mar, California

2002 - 2004

Located at the top of a hill with commanding views of the Pacific Ocean, Catalina Island and Newport Bay, on the last unbuilt site in an established hillside neighborhood, this house is differentiated from its eclectic suburban builders’ house context by means of siting, form and palette.

Instead of a singular, two-story mass that fills the property, a courtyard house typology is inserted into the fabric with the program massed on half the site and oriented perpendicular to the street, allowing for a large outdoor room to the southeast. The entry level combines the kitchen, dining and living rooms into a single space that is extended through a wall of glass to the outdoor living room. Views from the street and along the approach to the front door through the courtyard space to the ocean are both screened and framed by the garage, a library, and the covered walkway that connects the library to the main house and completes the closure for the courtyard.

Taking advantage of the site’s benign climate, on-shore breezes traverse the narrow plan with operable sash on the north and south fa├žades, and radiant floor heating takes the chill off of coastal weather systems. Louvered screens of varying density provide sun screening and privacy.

Building materials have been selected to weather gracefully, including architectural concrete, mill-finished stainless steel and hardwood.

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