Inside an architect’s AIA-award winning Pasadena home

Striking geometries that rival the mountain vistas

It’s all about the views at Elsye Alam’s award-winning Pasadena home Kaweah House.

The Los Angeles-based Indonesian architect trained at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and founded firm ID-EA. Alam bought the steep hillside Pasadena site to construct her family home, echoing the land’s topography to maximise the Californian property’s buildable envelope.

Kaweah House perches on a caisson foundation and is wrapped in vertical cedar battens and fibre cement cladding – a palette that nods to the tawny canyon site and 40-ft-high Himalayan cedar trees that bookend the Pasadena property.

Minimalist living spaces unravel across three levels and widening at the rear to capture sweeping vistas towards Eagle Rock, Mount Wilson, Griffith Park and the San Gabriel mountains from a 24-ft-long glass wall.

Kaweah House by Elsye Alams in Pasadena California
Photography: Sotheby’s International Realty

Strong geometries continue inside the home – for sale via Sotheby’s Realty International for $1.598m – where angled white planes create striking shadow planes and sightlines. A soaring family room occupies the central space on the middle level, with bedrooms on the lower level and a living area on the upper floor, all in a stark white and soft grey colour scheme.

Kaweah House by Elsye Alams in Pasadena California
Photography: Sotheby’s International Realty
Kaweah House by Elsye Alams in Pasadena California
Photography: Sotheby’s International Realty

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