Iconic Sunset Home Sets the Bar for Hillside Architecture


Driving through Pacific Palisades is a sure way to see creative and unique architecture, a welcome break from the now normal “tract homes.” Celebrities buying and selling homes in the area constantly make headlines as the local real estate agents salivate at the opportunity to list one.

In a neighborhood that has construction equipment and delays to spare, some of the veteran buildings still stand tall, reminding the neighbors they are entering the blank architectural canvas of the Westside.

Sitting on the hillside of Sunset, one of these homes welcomes incoming traffic with style and giving the slow crawling drivers something to look at as they sit in afternoon traffic. Attracting the attention of the New York Times architecture section, the high-flying home keeps spectators guessing how the house sits atop the concrete pillars that run down the hillside.
“It may look precarious, but it’s not. From an engineering standpoint, this thing is absolutely rational,” homeowner Robert Bridges said to the New York Times.

The Palisadian bought the lot for just under $50,000 in 1979, according to the article, at a time when it was all he could afford.

Surely worth millions now, the Palisadian icon is unlikely to be replicated as such high-flying projects are becoming more and more scrutinized by the California Coastal Commission.

Builders now have to consider their neighbors state-protected ocean views and landslide hazards. Substandard streets from the ’30s scare residents who walk their dogs on them let alone large construction equipment.

But the Bridges’ home puts aside all of that worry and reminds Palisadians of a time where creativity superseded fear and where the architecturally ambitious knew no limitations. In return, we got quite the spectacle.