RO54: Harmony of Nature and Design in Bel Air

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Architects from the Arshia company proudly present the RO54 project, located atop a hill in Bel Air, a neighbourhood in Los Angeles, overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the city center.

The project delicately positions a dynamic building on top of a buried plinth that replicates the natural topography that existed before this area was subdivided for development. This post-war redevelopment neighbourhood is gradually transforming, inundated with the latest creations that rely on size rather than spatial quality. The concept seeks to reduce the mass of a fairly large project to fit proportionally within the neighbourhood, proposing an alternative model within the framework of strict regulations.

This project deals with spatial relationships and uses a split-level design to follow the hill's topography and connect the semi-story plates. The project's aesthetics were inspired by automotive design, which, among other things, suggested hidden execution for every technology in the house. The interior palette was based on a utilitarian approach to materials, contrasting with an overall ambient design approach where space transcended mere utility. This balance of power was developed with consideration for ecological sensitivity and its absence.

The courtyard, created by illuminating the lower bedrooms from the buried plinth, also serves as a rainwater filtration system for the entire space. The project meets or exceeds strict California standards for green building and energy savings, such as low-flow water systems, drought-tolerant landscaping, rainwater harvesting, integration of photovoltaic panels, high-efficiency building envelope and glazing, HERS rating for the mechanical system, and many others.

The interior materials used are natural and compliant with low VOC emission standards. The design palette is minimal, consisting of entirely natural choices, including mica plaster, hardwood, and natural stone. The project sought minimal, low-impact, and proven materials, achieving a balance between durability, ease of maintenance, and responsible design.

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