Every spirit builds itself a house; and beyond its house, a world; and beyond its world a heaven. Know then, that the world exists for you: build, therefore, your own world.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson



Susan and Warren Jason decided to build a home together in the hills above Hollywood, California.

They are seeking to create an exceptional home and venue to host charitable events and gatherings for friends and family in an environment that encourages a fit, healthy and active lifestyle.

Both environmentally conscious and interested in state-of-the-art technology and high concept modern design, they have challenged themselves and their design team to build an architecturally significant residence that incorporates iconic design and the very latest in sustainable, green technology and home automation systems.

Warren and Susan feel that so-called “Green” house building is too often associated with aesthetically unattractive, clumsy, retrofit, and sometimes difficult-to-use structures. Very often people do not associate “green” houses with luxurious living, high-concept design, comfort and spaciousness.  They have set out to build a modern residence that will serve to demonstrate that “green” and “glamorous” are not mutually exclusive goals.

The Jason Residence aims to integrate Design Technology Sustainability into a “case study” house for the 21st century – the DTS Project House

mills studio statement

City and Garden

Two images of paradise have dominated western thought: paradise as a garden and paradise as a city, or more specific to Christianity: heaven as the New Eden and the New Jerusalem. The garden represents an endless horizontal expanse for the individual’s enjoyment of absolute freedom. The city represents the security of membership in a protective enclosure of constant order. mills studio’s architecture attempts to reconcile these two poles by creating an enclosure that provides the individual with the ability to live in freedom making his own destiny within a structured framework advocating for responsible individual decisions that sustain an enduring community. The DTS Project House advocates for a responsible individualism. 

The Jason Residence establishes its prescence on the street with a “tower” and gated entrance to an enclosed parking court that will also fuction as a gathering space (city). A Screen Wall / Roof Enclosure creates an “Iconic” presence on the hillside protecting two precious floating glass boxes (garden). A manmade water element mediates between the city and garden. Both the permerable Screen Wall / Roof Enclosure and cantileverd living platforms are grounded to the earth by a vertical stone mass. The Screen Wall Enclosure is positioned with a gap between its light filtering membrane and the conditioned spaces creating liminal spaces that are both inside and outside rooms and courtyards. The entry stair is designed to accentuate both a sense of protection (city) going down into the hillside and then a sudden exposed floating above the ground (garden). As one moves from the street to the earth the architecture evolves from permanent, structured, and gravity bound (city) to emphermal, liberating, and floating (garden). Views go from framed with controled glimpses to boundless and panoramic as one moves both horizontally and vertically through the building and site.

The above ground water element serves as both a functional infinity edge swimming pool with below water windows providing views into the water from interior spaces and a reflecting pond that is an integral part of the entry experience and roof deck. The covered / uncovered roof deck revolves around an outdoor fireplace and connects to a protected spa positioned to provide framed distant views. The central ledger stone mass houses fireplaces and the central void contains vertical circulation including both stairs and an elevator. The top lit central core reflects light through glass landings and open risered stairs down to a lower level that provides direct access to the hillside. The hillside is developed with a series of switchback paths leading to several destinations sculptured into the earth. The steel and glass boxes are developed to provide uninterupted spatial and visual flow with almost complete transparency to the hillside and city lights beyond. The material pallet provides the contrasting refinement of precisely fabricated steel and glass (city) with crafted concrete and organic elements (garden).

The architecture is intended to dramatize spatial movements, dramatize stimulating views, and dramatize elegant materiality that remembers the project’s context – HOLLYWOODLAND

The first thing that an architect must do is to sense that every building you build is a world of its own, and that this world of its own serves an institution.
~ Louis Kahn