In the Hills

Perrin 8One of the things I miss most about graduate school is being exposed and aware of interesting design projects. Now that I am no longer in that environment, I have to seek out the inspirational projects myself, and so often I am a bit behind schedule. This house, referred to as “Lefay House”, was designed by famed L.A. architect Francois Perrin, and completed in 2012. Located in the Hollywood Hills, on one of the Hills last buildable lots, this modern house manages to be both in stark contrast to the landscape as well as to completely blend in and become almost unnoticeable … but we notice it.
Perrin 2 Perrin 5The house has a foundation and retaining walls made of concrete, which combined with its North/South orientation and ventilation means that the house does not require any air conditioning. Although this may sound like an extremely modern concept, this is in fact how we originally built houses starting as early as the 17th century. Home sites were chosen based on their orientation to the sun, and window placement on the house was chosen for maximum cross ventilation. It is so exciting to see such modern architecture taking advantage of historic concepts and understandings.Perrin 10The skin of Lefay House is made of an insulated glass which reflects its surroundings and allows the house to melt into its environment. In addition, the surface area of the decks on the house are equal to the interior space which makes for a true indoor/outdoor living experience. 
Perrin 4Perrin 9Perrin 3Some people think that as a preservationist I have very little interest in modern architecture … and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Lefay House is a perfect example of a building that everyone – preservationists, classicists, modernists – have to admire. Many thanks to Marie Claire Maison for making me aware of this project. For more Francois Perrin projects visit

Photos courtesy of Michael Wells via

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