In the Roofscape house, we have one fundamental design question about hillside residential architecture which dictates the formation of the space. How to take advantage of a sloped site, and find an opportunity to redefine the role of a courtyard? As a result, inspired by the geography of the hillside, a continuous and accessible roof-scape took shape to embrace all elements of a yard in a California house.

Located on a hillside lot in Trabuco Canyon of the Orange County, California, the program brief specifies a “typical” house for a family of four. It is of note that the oldest son is interested in, and studying astronomy. Therefore, the ability to set up a telescope(s) in the house to take advantage of the clear sky to study the stars, galaxy and our universe above, is a critical component to the design and spatial composition.

Looking through the site capacities and the precise language of the program, our team has orchestrated a story with a clear beginning and end to inform the concept for this dwelling. This narrative begins with an outside Roofscape which is the entry receiving area that orients the user to the interior Floorscape. The circulation path (or roof) initiates in the public zone at the BBQ area / gathering space, then moving to progressively more private zones, being a fire pit, Jacuzzi and eventually culminating at the observatory platform at the top of the Roofscape. As a result of the seamless connection between the lower and upper areas of the property, the house has been afforded its shape in four elevated levels while providing every space with direct access to the roof.

Responding to the limitations steep slope, and taking advantage of the new grade and cut / fill in the site; four separate pads are connected in smooth transitions by stairs while creating the optimal opportunity for interior seating, indoor cinema and library applications. While the interior public areas of this linear house happen in the middle of the structure, the master bedrooms and family rooms are located at both ends of the house again offering direct access to the landscaped roof.

The top end of the path ends or begins with an observatory spherical shape exterior pavilion which provides direct access to the galaxy observation telescope, orchestrating a unique concept which may offer a multifunctional and exceptional experience of the space. The top pavilion space precisely frames the sky to allow the journey of traveling on the roof to finish with a poetic transition to our sky above. 


Location                                                                                                                                  Hunky Dory Lane, Trabuco Canyon, Orange County, California, USA                                  Client                                                                                                                                    BZ Construction                                                                                                                    Architects                                                                                                                              QASTIC LAB                                                                                                                            Design Team                                                                                                                        Mahdi Alibakhshian, Nguon Keat Tiv, Soroush Sasanian, Clair van der Swan, Connor Van Cleave, Maryam Laleh                                                                                                              Design Consultants                                                                                                      Nathaniel Hadley - Mohamadreza Mojahedi - Peyman Fatehi                                                Structural Engineering                                                                                                            Jeta Engineering                                                                                                                      Civil                                                                                                                                    Proactive Engineering Consultants                                                                                          Area                                                                                                                                      4000 SQF                                                                                                                            Project Year                                                                                                                            2016-Present                                                                                                                          STATUS                                                                                                                                  Design Development / On the Boards