The Diamondhouse is a sound studio and office extension to a house located deep in a canyon, against a severely sloping hillside, with minimal access and little space upon which to build. Direct sunlight reaches the site for only a few hours a day. The geotechnical condition is challenging, requiring 30-foot caissons to underpin new walls and foundations. A complex web of regulations governed the height, width, depth and specific relationship to the retaining walls needed to build the project.
Given these constraints, a multifaceted architectural strategy was developed for the small building. First, a base building geometry was developed to conform to the hillside and required codes while maximizing the interior spaces by extending them into adjacent sideyards. Like a rock placed in a small pond, the addition is carefully placed between the existing structure and an imposing hillside to inflect the landscape and create exterior programmatic spaces around it where none could exist before. The building geometry also conforms to the interior program as a corner of the upper floor flares out to accommodate a writing desk built into a north-facing window and a series of wall planes fold up and over the building to create a rooftop railing and enclosure.