On top of a hill in Los Angeles’ Echo Park neighborhood, architectural firm Project M Plus designed a ground-up spec home with a modernist style. “The developer named the project ‘Altiplano’ – Spanish for high plane,” McShane Murnane, the firm’s Architecture Director, told us. “We decided very early on to design around this concept. We conducted studies based on prevailing winds, the commanding views, and how to build in privacy from the adjacent neighbors.”
This home with its three floors – the lower level, a main level with the living areas and kids’ bedrooms, and a third floor for the primary suite – has a brutalist appearance with a combination of a smooth trowel stucco exterior and wood siding. Each corner of the home has been designed specifically to maximize the views of LA. “The primary suite, for example, is the highest point of the building soaking in 360 degree views of the city,” McShane explained. “The living room has a west looking view to capture the beautiful sunsets and sight lines of the Hollywood Sign and Griffith Park Observatory. The outcome is a modern home with purposely placed rooms and windows to ensure the proper mix of having incredible vistas and also smaller-scaled, comfortable rooms with a feeling of refuge.”
Throughout the interior of the house, Project M Plus selected white oak flooring from S&S Hardwood to create a warm and earthy feel. For the home’s 4.5 bathrooms, the firm gave each their own concept. “In the master suite we used a travertine stone, and in the kids’ bathrooms, we played with color through the installation of Fireclay tiles and used metal Schluter in a brass tone to give an easy but elevated look,” McShane said.
After two years of hard work, the house was finally complete, ready for a large family to move in. “There is a sense of discovery every time we go in,” McShane shared, “The way you can flow in and out of the home to the expansive backyard, and how the sun changes the views through the windows depending on the time of day. The home feels dynamic and alive as the sun tracks through the many openings.”