Located on a sloped hillside in Pacific Palisades with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Mountains, this 2-acre site includes a new modern home perched at the top of the slope, a cobble drive, planted terraces at multiple levels and landscape pathways that lead to the far reaches of the site. The original slope was covered in grape vines which posed a concern regarding water usage. The hillside planting was replaced with old-growth Olive trees which would require less water and would provide a crop for olive oil production. Each Olive tree is supported by a stacked broken concrete tree well, allowing the planting to step down the hill, preserving the views from the house. Stone steps lead to a juicing terrace midway down the slope and connect to DG paths and timber steps crisscrossing the entire slope. A hydroseed mix was used for the understory that includes California Poppies that create an orange carpet each year.
Planted terraces were created adjacent to the wings of the house to extend the interior spaces. Stone steppers and gravel joints are framed by low-growing shrubs such as Westringia Mundi and Pittosporum crassifolium ‘Nana’. A citrus belvedere was created at one corner of the house to help hide the above ground utilities and to create a shaded spot for a bench. An on-structure terrace adjacent to the dining and living room provides a unique flat area of turf on an otherwise steep site. Planted steps and perimeter shrubs soften the edges of the terrace.
At the entry drive, cobbles were installed with an eroded edge to allow the planting to frame the hardscape and soften the edges. Lavender, Phlomis and Muhlenbergia provide a variety of textures and colors around the edges of the stone paving. Old-growth Olives provide privacy from the neighbor and mark the entry to the house.
Considerations were made during the design phase for fire resistance and long-term maintenance. The selection of the Olive trees inspired a Mediterranean palette for the entire site.