Taking inspiration from the natural landscape and the geometries of the surrounding canyon and hillside slopes, rather than the architecture of the adjacent buildings, XTEN Architecture's Diamond House is a bold addition to an existing family house in Santa Monica, comprising a sound studio and office.
Completed just a few weeks ago, the residential extension incorporates a façade of laser-cut aluminium panels - created using 3D modelling programs - with an unusual geometric pattern that glows from inside at night-time and looks light, porous and pleasantly reflective during the day.
The Los Angeles-based practice had to deal with a complex set of regulations, involving the height, width, depth and in-between relationships of the retaining walls, in order for the rather small-scale project to gain planning permission in this tricky site. The extension's resulting dynamic diamond form is reflected in the site's retaining walls and concrete rooftop, and also helped dictate the building's interior arrangement; the upper floor corner, for instance, stretches out to form a built-in writing desk attached to a north-facing window.