HOLLYWOOD HILLS—In February, architectural research group Arch Out Loud partnered with Last House on Mulholland (LHOM) to host a Hollywood house design competition. The house would sit on a plot of land directly below the Hollywood sign, owned by New York dentist and Los Angeles native, Steve Alper.
According to the Arch Out Loud website, the competition invited architects to design a “home of the future,” using “innovative technology” and “integrative environmental strategies” to “capitalize on the iconic prominence of its site beneath the famed Hollywood sign.”
On Saturday, March 11, the winners of the competition were announced, and their designs were revealed to the public. Los Angeles-based architectural firm, Hirsuta, won the grand prize of $3,000 for their design, “Ambivalent House.”
“Ambivalent House” is a cratered spheroid, with porthole windows looking out over the landscape. Its solar panel-covered, photovoltaic shell would be the main source of energy, which would allow occupants to live off-the-grid. The home’s defining feature is its ability to rotate slowly, coming full circle over the course of a year. The intention behind this is that observers would never see the structure in the same way twice.
“Ambivalent House places the occupants deeper into their surroundings, things that are not easily seen but just as important in experiencing this location,” said the Arch Out Loud team. “Instead of creating a static, picturesque icon, the home is in constant evolution, an icon with many facades and faces.”
It has not been confirmed when the house will be built, but Hirsuta’s proposal is believed to have the potential to influence future residential projects. If constructed, the emphasis will be on the onlookers’ experience, as the structure will be in a prominent location.
“What I would like [observers] to come away with is more a sense of something,” said Jason Payne of Hirsuta. “For example, a sense of strangeness—like, this is a very strange object. Or this is an otherworldly object.”
The runner-up winners included “Hollywood Hill” from Mexico’s FGO/Arquitectura, “The Last House” from Los Angeles and Japan-based YBDD and NHD, and “Eclipse” from Italy’s A2.0 Studio di Architettura.