The Bridge House Project
Dan Brunn Architecture is bringing a new kind of home to Los Angeles’ ritzy Hancock Park neighborhood—and it might just be his biggest challenge to date. Introducing Bridge House, a one-of-a-kind, net-zero energy home that, when completed, will stretch 210 feet across the grounds, literally bridging across a brook in an architectural maneuver that gives the project its name. A collaboration between the Los Angeles-based architecture firm and Dwell, Bridge House embodies innovations in technology, architecture and lifestyle and aims to redefine what a house of the future can be.
A Bit of Background
This plot of land wasn’t always destined for such greatness. When Dan Brunn, Principal of Dan Brunn Architecture, purchased the property, he intended to simply renovate the existing home. But after a visit to the Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island, he was inspired by the dramatic driveways that serve as focal points for many of the area’s homes. "One thing I loved was entering through the huge motor court," says Brunn. "Everything starts from the car." Rather than situating the home toward the front of the lot, Brunn realized that a system of 20-foot modules spanning the length of the plot would not only provide the processional entrance he desired, it would also allow the home to traverse the stream and better engage the landscaping to create a structure that looks as if it floats in nature. “I wanted to create a groundbreaking, ‘floating’ retreat perfectly saddled over a bubbling stream located on the property. We truly are creating an inhabitable bridge over a stream. Peaceful. Tranquil. And, not quite what you would expect in the hustle and bustle of LA living,” shares Brunn.
Redefining the traditional one-story home into a 4,500 square foot rectangle that spans 210 feet long and 20 feet wide is not without its challenges, however. Enter BONE Structure, a modular steel construction system tailor-made for each unique project that’s paving the future for building technology. Through creative development and collaboration with the innovative company, the structural undertaking of Bridge House was made possible.
Every aspect of the home was designed from a computer, then each part of the home was constructed and shipped directly to the construction site. From there, it was like putting Legos together—each portion of the home fits together piece by piece. But ease of assembly isn’t the only perk of this impressive steel skeleton. It’s also extremely sustainable, highly cost effective and doesn’t require interior load bearing walls, offering complete freedom of interior customization and design.
Perhaps one of the most exciting elements of this project is its commitment to sustainability. Brunn has partnered with a number of forward-thinking brands, including Caesarstone, to bring his progressive vision to life. From energy-efficient windows and home appliances to solar panels that will power everything inside the home, Bridge House is designed to be net-zero, producing as much energy as it consumes. “Many of the partners and I are charting new ground with Bridge House, and in the end, we get to show our clients the potential of a net-zero energy build,” Brunn said.
The home will also be responsive to the natural environment around it—a key takeaway from the project. Brunn hopes to show people that we can’t simply think about the design of a building alone, we also need to consider how that building is connected to its site. Take, for example, the way the home is situated. It has no front yard/backyard but rather, it’s all one giant yard. “You’re constantly in nature on any given point of the house instead of looking at nature, which is one of the biggest gains of this house,” Brunn continues.
Bridge House will be Brunn’s first solar home. He plans to use it as a showcase for his business and all of the sustainable products he’s using to build it. “Maybe this will spearhead others—developers, architects, homeowners—to be a part of this and to say, ‘You know what, let's rethink how we do things.’ I encourage others to try and push the envelope forward instead of just saying, ‘Okay, well this is how we have to build in Los Angeles.’”
Caesarstone will follow Dan Brunn’s Bridge House journey on the Interior Collective and social media channels. Follow Caesarstone and Bridge House LA on Instagram to stay up to date on this innovative building project as it unfolds.