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Flint Peak Residence

Located on a steep northern down slope in the San Raphael Hills, the Flint Peak Residence offers sweeping views over Pasadena and the Rose bowl Stadium. To capitalize on the inherent views of the lot, the service functions and living environment of the residence were separated into two spatial realms; one of dense programmatic facilities and the other of uninterrupted space. A linear utility core consolidates residential services.

Wedged into the hillside, the core functions as a retaining wall-bracing the earth by resisting its natural force. Opaque, mysterious, essential like the earth- the core encloses the necessary supports for life: plumbing (water), heating (fire), ventilation (air). Similarly, it sponsors circulation storage, cleaning equipment—essential requirements of housing. By containing conventional concerns, the core liberates living space from the usual intermediate divisions created by service obstructions and utilities. This act of containment allows for flexible use, in a free flowing stream of space.

The programmatic adjacencies of the house (elements that depend on proximity to one another) are reordered to distill and crystallize the essence of habitation. Rationalized into basic parts, the spaces of the house relate in purely functional terms. This parti relationship more often describes commercial offices than “conventional” houses.

Outside, stretching toward the open view, the thick spine of the house becomes a linear pool. At the boundary of interior and exterior, the earthy core pierces its transparent glass envelope, and emerges as a natural element (water) toward the horizon. Clear in the open air as it was opaque in the interior of the house, the core remains dense and essential. Forcefully continuous, the cuneiform becomes a viewing platform for life within and without impediments.

Status: Completed 1997
Project Type: Residential
Building Type: New
Size: 4,300 sf
Location: Pasadena, CA

Principal: Hagy Belzberg
Project Manager: Hagy Belzberg

Marie Claire (Italy)