This Los Angeles home designed by Olson Kundig opens out to views so spectacular, it’ll leave you gobsmacked

SEP 17, 2020 | By Aneesha Bhadri
The facade of Collywood, a hillside home designed by Olson Kundig in Los Angeles; Photographs by Nic Lehoux
View of the red metal doorway and interiors that lie beyond retractable walls; Photographs by Nic Lehoux
The entryway as seen from inside the house; Photographs by Nic Lehoux
Cassina's Miloe sectional from Inform is placed in the living room. The bespoke coffee table by Olson Kundig is made using resin and steel by Fossil Faux and Mayer Design; Photographs by Nic Lehoux
CAB chairs by Cassina from Inform are used on the right of the living area; Photographs by Nic Lehoux
The fireplace in the living room is designed by Olson Kundig; Photographs by Nic Lehoux
The den features a custom mason desk with pencil drawer by BDDW, Bench sofa by Paola Lenti from Inform, and a hi-low coffee table custom designed by Olson Kundig; Photographs by Nic Lehoux
This cosy spot is furnished with a 1970 Joe Colombo floor lamp, a bespoke fireplace by Olson Kundig, Oyster chair by Joerg Boner from Avenue Road, Richard sectional by B&B Italia from Architectural Resources, and a rug by Jan Kath; Photographs by Nic Lehoux
Along the pool is a custom daybed by Olson Kundig (manufactured by Chadhaus), Peninsula table by Sutherland from Susan Mills, Sand chair and Rams lounger by Paola Lenti from Inform. The Cloud chair and sofa as well as the concrete table are from Restoration Hardware; Photographs by Nic Lehoux
View of the pool deck; Photographs by Nic Lehoux
CAB chairs by Cassina from Inform enclose the custom rolling dining table by Olson Kundig. Also seen are the Perf Pulley by Tom Kundig Collection and a bespoke Olson Kundig rug that's made by Nasiri; Photographs by Nic Lehoux
Detail of the stairway; Photographs by Nic Lehoux
The master bedroom houses the 1965 Vintage Tomlinson chair and pouffe by Custom Dave's Upholstery; Photographs by Nic Lehoux
A mohair Moroccan area rug by Stacy Logan covers the floor of the master bedroom. The bed is a bespoke Olson Kundig design; Photographs by Nic Lehoux
The Boffi Iceland Tub by Piero Lissoni, shower and cabinetry by Olson Kundig, and a Duravit Starck 3 Vanity Basin are used in the master bath; Photographs by Nic Lehoux
The oversized deck offers panoramic views of Los Angeles; Photographs by Nic Lehoux
The kitchen is furnished with countertops in Panalu Black Granite by Island Stone, a Julien – Undermount single compartment sink, and a Boffi faucet; Photographs by Nic Lehoux
JLAL fixtures designed by Illum Lighting Design furnish the garage; Photographs by Nic Lehoux

Set against the rugged wild backdrop of Los Angeles, Collywood seems like a natural extension of the hillside. It overlooks the Sunset Strip and the City of Angels, surrounded by dramatic views stretching from the San Gabriel Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. The homeowner—a sportsman who enjoys outdoor adventure—wanted to maximise those views. So, this 15,600 sq ft home with its expansive decks does just that.

The modest entryway belies the thrilling spaces and views that await within. The main level contains the kitchen, dining and living areas, as well as one bedroom. Each of these sections spills onto balconies that offer breathtaking vistas. Window walls slide, pivot or completely retract to erase the border between indoors and outdoors.

The main terrace is an absolute delight, with a pool that overlooks a grove of olive trees and the city of Los Angeles. The upper floor includes the master suite, home gym and other private living quarters, with more decks and terraces. The lowest level is tucked into the hillside and houses the garage and additional space for the outdoorsy client’s hobbies, as well as extra bedrooms and another large patio.

Collywood appears fairly reserved from the street with a bold red metal portal for the main entrance; Photographs by Nic Lehoux

“Collywood is all about extending the boundaries of the home environment to provide an expandable, flexible living space. The client enjoys hosting parties and wanted the home to be able to host large gatherings yet remain functional for himself and his family. So, we organised public and private spaces in concert with movable walls and connections to the outdoors to enable that,” says Tom Kundig, co-founder of Olson Kundig.

The house opens out to the outdoors with retractable walls; Photographs by Nic Lehoux

Collywood allows its inhabitants to engage with both the dense urban scene of Los Angeles and the stunning natural beauty of its environs. At the mere touch of a button, walls shift or even disappear, getting the most out of the south Californian climes. An operable shade system can be deployed to temper solar gain or, inversely, invite in an abundance of invigorating sunlight.

A glimpse of the dining area from the entryway; Photographs by Nic Lehoux

“This house navigates many different scales: the larger landscape of Los Angeles, while balancing entertainment and large group gatherings with the intimacy of daily living. I’m most excited about how the design intertwines these diverse scales and allows the client to expand or contract the space depending on changing needs,” says Jim Olson, co-founder of the design practice.

The custom kitchen wine rack by Olson Kundig is made using steel by 12th Ave Iron and leather by Hank Studios; Photographs by Nic Lehoux

The material palette of the sprawling abode is predominantly glass, concrete, steel and wood. The neutral colour scheme, with the occasional bold pops of colour—like the red entry portal and artistic accents—holds its own against the home’s stunning backdrop. The house acts as a functional and comfortable space that graciously accommodates the needs and tendencies of its inhabitants.

The material palette is largely concrete, steel, wood and glass; Photographs by Nic Lehoux

The multistoreyed home also incorporates several sustainable features such as solar panels and a stormwater retention tank, as well as no-VOC or low-VOC materials and finishes that support a healthy interior environment. Supplementary touches such as radiant floor heating allow these spaces to remain in use during cooler weather too.

This textured washroom is given a contemporary style; Photographs by Nic Lehoux

Throughout Collywood, the design encourages a plethora of experiences—open and intimate, indoor and outdoor, city and landscape, soirees and sanctuary. The decor, too, balances these experiences, providing a restful and human-scaled environment. One which can also transform to accommodate large gatherings and adventurous experiences. This hillside abode, with its immersive design, always has one toe tapped into the lively energy of the city and another ensconced in the wild refuge that is its home.