An entrepreneurial family with a passion for healthy living requested a large home on their dramatically sloping 2-acre site. They wanted an informal layout woven into the topography.

Project Name: A Hillside House for Healthy Living
Studio Name:
Abramson Architects
Location: Pacific Palisades, United States
Photography: Roger Davies
Project size: 17000 ft2
Site size: 87120 ft2
Completion date: 2019
Building levels: 2

 A Hillside House for Healthy Living By Christy Wolfe - Sheet1
Fireplace ©Roger Davies

They also wished to enjoy as much of the site as possible, requiring the inclusion of steps and landscape pathways that lead to more distant parts of the steep site. Situated on a promontory jutting into the canyon below the hillside retreat boasts multiple vistas of the surrounding canyon and the Pacific Ocean beyond.

 A Hillside House for Healthy Living By Christy Wolfe - Sheet2
Kitchen+Dining Space ©Roger Davies

However, local restrictions allowed for a single story above street level. Responding to these conditions, much of the home’s massing is located on a lower-level that daylights onto the downslope side of the house. This modest massing arrangement allows for neighboring properties to see over the roof of the home.

 A Hillside House for Healthy Living By Christy Wolfe - Sheet3
Living Room ©Roger Davies

In three distinct locations, landscaped topography “fingers” heighten one’s awareness of the panoramic scenery. Bridges span over these fingers, extending the natural graded areas into the heart of the home. The design solution offers new perspectives for experiencing the owner’s prized views while providing a glimpse of the topography as it stood before the house was set upon it.


Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.