To understand this kitchen configuration, one must first understand that it is part of a house designed in homage to California’s post-and-beam case study houses of the 1950s. Although the original 1,300-square-foot home (built in 1956) on the steeply cascading slope was too decrepit to salvage, D.S. Ewing Architects maintained its spirit by repeating the same pivoting (at a 12 percent angle) floor plan shape in the new design. An exact replica was impossible, however, given that the new house had to conform to more restrictive hillside ordinances and stringent fire codes.

The resulting two-story structure is engineered with three terraced levels of aluminum grating decks extending down the hillside. To maintain privacy from the street, its western façade is clad in red cedar with high clerestory windows, while the east side of the house is all glass (framed with 6-by-8 foot posts at 8 feet on center). Interior spaces spill onto those fireproof decks with spectacular views of Pasadena and the Rose Bowl.

Perched on the top floor like a tree house, the kitchen enjoys one of the most panoramic vantage points. To preserve those sight lines, the architects specified open bamboo shelving on its view side, enhancing the illusion of space. Rich natural materials make up for in quality what the modest galley lacks in square footage. Those include Honduran mahogany cabinets, wenge counters, custom stainless steel detailing, concrete tile flooring, and tailored lighting.

Entrant/Architect/Interior designer/Kitchen designer:D.S. Ewing Architects, Pasadena, Calif.; Builder: Gooler Construction, Monrovia, Calif.

Magnus Stark

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA.