Designed for a hillside site overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the 4,750 SF Amalfi Drive Residence was intended to capitalize on its steeply sloping site to create an interwoven series of spaces through which the viewer’s experience is constantly evolving.
Designed by Wil Carson while he was Senior Designer at MMA, spaces within the house take on new characteristics when viewed from a new angle or when they are juxtaposed against a novel vantage point. The lifted ground plane creates a multiplicity of experience. Ground can be understood in at least three separate ways as the viewer passes from the upper street through the interior to the views to the ocean beyond, blurring the experience of each.
The project ultimately emphasizes planar surface over mass, both through deformation and material deployment: the thin laminate of the roof plane is lifted above the plinth below; the plinth is both integrated with the surrounding context in its materiality and dislocated, as the stucco shell of the house floats above the socle beneath. The podium’s very form furthers this push-pull.
Although the shape of the residence exerts its materiality through its visibly smooth, uniform, reflective, or transparent surfaces, each of them is flush, separated only by a small reveal, emphasizing surface and volume rather than solidity and weight. The multiplicity of experience enabled through the planimetric form is echoed through the super-flat facades.