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Air Frame Pavilion
Los Angeles, CA


Mark Rios
Sebastian Salvadó
Aimee Less


Perched atop a Bel Air hillside, with sweeping 270-degree views of Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean, sits the Air Frame Pavilion. With its taut, steel skin, this minimalist sculptural form complements and enhances the strong geometry of the three-story Gwathmey Siegel main house. Yet it confidently stands apart as its own unique expression.

The clients, avid art collectors who felt the home failed to take full advantage of Southern California's mild climate, asked us to design the "ultimate indoor-outdoor living space." The greatest challenge was maximizing panoramas of the ocean without obscuring sightlines from the existing house. The 650-sq.-ft. pavilion’s careful positioning against the house allows it to be an extension of the home's daily living spaces, while its subtle asymmetry maintains exterior circulation and frames the dramatic views.
In concept and fabrication, the pavilion takes its cue from automotive design. Its walls are constructed of 3/4"-thick steel plate—welded, sanded smooth, and painted glossy to create a monolithic building skin. Immaculately concealed beneath these sleek surfaces are high-tech amenities that make the room function like a high-performance vehicle. Touch-screen controls enable the residents to activate lighting, heating, and sound systems. They can also maneuver glass walls, and raise or lower shades to adapt to changing weather conditions, thus keeping the pavilion comfortable year-round.

The pavilion's roof is a viewing deck, creating an additional vantage point. Our scope of work also included a custom fire table and furniture and lighting selection. Bright white furnishings emphasize the pavilion’s purity of shape and underline the structure's gallery-like feeling.