Located in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, the Monte Grigio residence offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Monica Mountains.
Project Name: Monte Grigio Residence
Studio Name: Mayes Office
Location: Pacific Palisades, California, United States
Photography: Shawn Cordon Real Estate
Project size: 7228 ft2
Site size: 9785 ft2
Completion date: 2019
Building levels: 2
The Monte Grigio residence pays homage to the International Style, a form closely related to modernism and modern architecture. This style consists of the use of steel and reinforced concrete, large windows, uninterrupted interior spaces, simple lines, and strictly geometric forms.
The importance of connecting architecture to the environment is a fundamental element in Mayes Office (MO) design approach. With the Pacific Ocean and Santa Monica Mountains acting as a backdrop, the idea of merging the surrounding environment into the spaces of the home was at the center of our design.
The result is a dissolving of conventional boundaries separating interior and exterior spaces while still maintaining a sense of intimacy and creating a sanctuary for the home’s occupants who enjoy spending time indoors and outdoors.
From a street view, a vertical glass stairway can be seen ascending down the central mass, grounding the home’s two wings, which appear poised for flight. The sculptural nature of the design reveals Colby Mayes’s time working for the iconic Frank Gehry: wood, glass, steel, and concrete are perfectly proportionate for a contemporary home the exudes warmth and welcome. Once inside, individuals enter the central living space. Bright finished light oak floors, vast expanses of floor-ceiling windows, and strategically framed views work in tandem in connecting the surrounding environment and the interior spaces.
The basement level is carved out of the existing hillside. The rooms circulate an exterior central courtyard, which consists of a fire pit and water feature. Natural light pours into the bedrooms and interior spaces, creating an equal balance of light, air, and atmosphere to the upper floor of the house.
“One design challenge when building on a hillside is creating a basement that doesn’t feel like a basement.” – Colby Mayes
For formal entertaining, the living room, dining room, and kitchen work together to provide the ideal backdrop of several occasions. Floor to ceiling sliding glass panels opens up to the backyard, letting in the fresh ocean breeze, while the home’s inhabitants can see a stunning view of the Pacific Coast.
Beyond the elegant affair, this home is just as suited to handle the informal activities of day-to-day living as well. The kitchen serves the formal spaces as well as the casual spaces. The adjacent Family Room opens to the lush backyard consisting of a fire pit with outdoor seating, saltwater pool, built-in BBQ entertainment area, and an outdoor shower.
On clear nights, with stars visible through the thick blanket of the night sky, one envisions ascending the exterior stairs to the roof deck. While marveling at the vista seen from the main level and magnifying it with a bird’s eye view, it reminds the resident and their guests why Los Angeles is called the City of Angels.