Car Park House

Starting with a vacant lot with a very steep down-slope from the street, the design of the houseplaces the carport on the roof with the residence below.  In addition to being a dramatic shift of expectations, it is also a logical response to the building code which requires parking for two vehicles.

This inversion moves the typical ground floor of the house up on the roof and makes the simple act of arriving home – and driving onto the roof of the house - a surprise every time.

The roof is also usable as deck space and has unobstructed views of the San Gabriel Mountains, which are to the Northeast of Los Angeles.

Because of the steep terrain the house is designed to float over the hillside.  This reduces the amount of foundation required and also means that the only way to access the house is over the bridge - so it is truly a floating structure.

The added benefit of providing the parking and the house as the same structure is to eliminate the need for additional foundations and walls for a garage.

The lower foundation is all concrete and comprises 4 ‘L’ shape torsion boxes at each corner.  The amount of seismic restraint required in California is very high, so concrete is often a perfect choice of material for resisting these high lateral forces.

Date of completion: 2014

Address: 327 & 331 Crane Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90065

Photographer: Steve King

Architect: Simon Storey – Anonymous Architects –

Lot Area: lot 1: 1,900 & lot 2: 2,200 sq.ft downslope

Building Area: House 1: 1,050 & Houce 2: 1,175 sq.ft

Two story building, cantilevered structure.  All wood construction

Building footprint: approx 600sq.ft each

Method of construction: Concrete pile foundation and column walls; composite wood (primary floor structure - cantilevers); 2x wood floor, walls and roof

Primary materials:

  • Cedar siding (fire treated, ignition resistant)
  • Aluminum dual glazed windows
  • White oak floors (bleached); White Oak kitchen, bathroom and storage cabinets
  • White Marble countertops
  • Matte white ceramic tile in bathrooms
  • White Oak doors

Model Process