Gardens with a view

Hollywood Hills Residence

Utilizing the topography of the site and the nuances of the architecture, a series of gardens create a unique choreography of spaces surrounding this modern house nestled in the hillside. Inspired by the distinct native landscapes of Southern California, a diverse group of low water, native, adaptive and habitat plants along with a grey water system are utilized, fulfilling the client’s desire for a sustainable landscape. In mirroring the micro climates of southern California, a sequence of individual spaces is created, enhancing one’s experience of the garden while connecting one to the land.

A mix of native, drought tolerant and fire resistant plantings hold the slope at the east side of the house from which emerges a terrace with a firepit and lounging furniture to take in the expansive city views. An informal pathway lined with boulders, native salvias and succulents meanders down the slope through a lush palm woodland, aromatic plantings and citrus trees, culminating at the pool and spa terrace.

A stair leads up to the curved viewing terrace shaded by a wisteria trellis above. The steepest portion of the west slope is traversable by a set of concrete stairs with the ends staggered within the planting areas. Sculptural Dracena dracos, aloes and Leucospermum are located throughout the steep slope, providing providing habitat, shade for the walkway, and visual interest.

A secret garden, sunken below the main entrance to the house, is accessible from the interior only. A textured stone wall is the backdrop of the intimate seating area. A basalt stone water feature provides a meditative trickle of water surrounded by ferns and terraced plantings of cactus viewable from the walkways above.


Hollywood, CA


Olson Kundig and Mutuus Studio


Kevin Scott and ACLA