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A Home That Floats Above Water and Takes Nothing from the Earth

Dan Brunn’s LA Bridge House gets all the power it needs from renewable sources.

Photo Credit: Courtesy

Inspired by the Bauhaus architecture in his hometown of Tel Aviv, Los Angeles–based architect Dan Brunn (principal of Dan Brunn Architecture) brings a minimalist, modernist aesthetic to each of his projects. That ethos is on full display at the Bridge House, a 4,500-square-foot, net-zero-energy home that is currently under construction in LA’s historic Hancock Park neighborhood.

The 212-foot-long, 20-foot-wide structure is built over a natural stream that originates in the city’s iconic and expansive Griffith Park. Balanced over the brook like a bridge, the aptly named home is a remarkable feat of engineering anchored by an open floor plan, an alfresco deck, and a reflecting pool.

Brunn designed the rectilinear residence to be sleek, modern, and inviting. Rows of glass windows and doors blur the line between indoors and out-of-doors, enabling residents to feel more connected with nature. “The design drew inspiration from the very unusual site condition, and I wanted to fully immerse the building into the landscape,” says Brunn.

If the project bears a resemblance to some of California’s classic mid-century-modern architecture, that would be intentional. Brunn was inspired by masters like Pierre Koenig and Richard Neutra when developing the home. “While touring the house to developers, architects, and project partners, I received welcome comparisons to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, Pierre Koenig’s Case Study House #22, and Craig Ellwood’s Art Center College of Design,” says the architect.

The structure looks to the future thanks to its net-zero energy status (which means the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources is equal to the amount of energy the structure consumes). The residence is built with a modular, CNC-milled steel construction system based on a post-and-beam grid in order to save costs and provide eco-friendly benefits. A cedar-clad exterior and insulated panels guarantee the structure is airtight and help reduce energy costs. And the advanced building system uses photovoltaic cells and venting skylights on the roof to reduce heat. “Using an entirely new structural system was one of the most difficult hurdles in getting the building off the ground. We felt a big weight lifted once the building department had approved us.”

Although designed as a home, Bridge House will act as a venue for social and educational events for project partners. It will also serve as a prime example of what the future of green building and living could look like. The Bridge House is on track to be completed in January 2019.

Bridge House in Hancock Park

The house floats above a stream.  Photo Credit: Courtesy

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