When visitors arrive in Los Angeles for the first time, their eyes inevitably dart upward in an eager search for the famed Hollywood sign, the universal signal that "You've made it!" But it's an empty parcel of land beneath the sign that recently had hundreds of architects hoping they'd make it, as winners of the Archoutloud architecture competition.
Native Angeleno and dentist Steve Alper hosted the contest, in which designers submitted proposals for a potential landmark to be built on a rare parcel of land he owns directly beneath the sign, according to Curbed. With opportunities to build around the sign being extremely scarce, the competition was aptly named "The Last House On Mulholland."
"The world-wide interest in this location provides us with an opportunity to meaningfully engage about design, community and the future," Alper said in a statement.
The winner of the contest (drum roll, please): Ambivalent House, an inexactly sphere-shaped structure that rotates over the course of a year or more. Dreamed up by local firm Hirsuta, the house's various faces perpetually realign to provide different views and elevations. Still, its fortress-like exterior would provide privacy from droves of tourists who frequent the area. Part of the designers' description of the otherworldly house? "Stranger things have happened on Mulholland Drive."
"Utilizing feeling and experience as the key medium of the home, Ambivalent House places the occupants deeper into their surroundings, things that are not easily seen but are just as important in experiencing this location," said Archoutloud in a statement. "Instead of creating a static, picturesque icon, the home is in constant evolution, an icon with many facades and faces."
The competition received submissions from 500 designers around the world, whose work was judged by a panel of 20 jurors, including Olson Kundig principal Tom Kundig, Morphosis founder Thom Mayne and Archinect founder Paul Petrunia.
Despite its win, it's not guaranteed that the Ambivalent House will be built on the property. Alper actually chose a different home as his favorite choice (see below), and told Curbed that his intention for the competition was to simply "get the dialogue started."
While you wait in anticipation for the (eventual) new landmark to emerge in Los Angeles, take a look at the runners-up and the owner's choice below.
Second Place: Hollywood Hill by FGO/Arquitectura
Owner's Choice: Eclipse by A2.0 Studio di Architettura
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