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Real Estate & Architecture in Los Angeles

580 North Hermosa Avenue in Sierra Madre


Harwell Hamilton Harris, FAIA, 1949; John T. Lyle, AIA, FASLA, 1986. The J.J. Mulvihill Residence and Lyle Design Studio.

Like an ocean liner poised on a promontory, the Mulvihill residence is a powerful horizontal form against its mountainous backdrop. Its prow of glass, grey-green painted redwood, and red brick sails into space high above its hillside landscape and the unending carpet known as greater Los Angeles.

Designed by master architect Harwell Hamilton Harris in 1949, the 2,000-square-foot, three-level home celebrates Harris’s multivalent approach to architecture.

Lyle’s two-story studio/office/guest suite demonstrates his belief in regenerative building design.

In deference to the Harris building above, the studio is located to the side of the site.

Lyle oriented the windows to face south into the oak woodland, rather than up to the potentially looming house and used an elongated, red-stained concrete terrace to bridge hillside and building.

Given the studio’s sharp roof angles and apparently random custom windows of all shapes and sizes, at first glance, the studio is a far cry from to Harris’s calm, boxy volume above.

Yet upon further study, the studio handsomely conforms with Harris’s design and the natural environment.

See this home in person!

Listing courtesy of Matthew Berkley, Deasy/Penner & Partners.