California House, perched high up in the Hollywood Hills, features a butterfly-inspired rooftop that floats upon walls of glass. But the contemporary architecture that is immediately visible is only a partial view of the residence, with the rest hidden within the steep hillside.
“It was meant to be a kind of modern update of the Case Study Houses of California,” explains architect Peter Gluck of New York-based architecture firm GLUCK+. “It’s a definite reference to those buildings, which had the same impulse of both extraordinary views and being intimately involved in the landscape.”
Built for Gluck’s son—Golden Globe-nominated writer and producer Will Gluck—the project was a father-and-son collaboration, with the younger Gluck intimately involved in the process.
Home to Will Gluck and his family, the multifunctional property has an exposed upper pavilion that was designed for entertaining, with an open layout that leads into generous outdoor space. While the lower level of the home, tucked into the hills, serves as the more traditional part of the residence, with practical spaces including bedrooms, bathrooms, a media room, storage, and more.
Only a small selection of materials were used for the home’s finishings in order to create a cohesive look. Terrazzo flooring features throughout the home, acting as a welcome complement to the otherwise airy palette made up of materials such as white oak, and which are further enlightened by the glass walls that allow for ample natural light.
A primary concern with the project was minimizing environmental impact. Building into the hillside not only anchors the home in the landscape, but also allows the property to be passively cooled or heated by the surrounding earth. Solar panels provide all necessary electricity for the home, while the tilted rooftop’s elongated overhang shields the interiors from most direct sunlight.
While California House appears simple, it’s anything but. Building into the hillside was a significant undertaking, and it’s only through exquisite design that GLUCK+ was able to make this home appear effortlessly beautiful, despite its inherent complexity.
Photography by Paul Vu.