Sorry to disappoint fans of aquatic wildlife, but alas, this is a post about a work of architecture. The name “Eel’s Nest” is a commonly used term that describes a very narrow lot (typically with a width of 15 feet). This particular lot in the area of Echo Park in Los Angeles has a width of exactly 15 feet, and architect Simon Storey decided to take up the challenge to experiment with designing and erecting a compact and efficient urban dwelling. But how would you achieve such a feat, you ask? Why, by building vertically, or course! Storey was able to design both simply and minimally in accordance to the site’s size limitations, and used the entire lot to create a functional house.
The house that originally existed on the site was demolished, except a few walls in the basement that remained. Storey knew that he needed to add an additional story onto the new house to take full advantage of the site due to the narrow size of the lot, and he needed to get special permission from the planning department in order to do so. Another challenge that arose was that since the house is built to the property line, local code requires that it be fire rated on the exterior, so the house was clad in cement plaster for fire resistance, and that problem was solved.
Thanks to the decision and permission to add an additional level to the house, the interior space has essentially doubled, having wood floors and cabinets running throughout the whole house and natural light coming through the living room and the first level spaces thanks to the open staircase on the upper level. The house even includes a roof deck that rises above the dense urban development, creating a nice focal point for the structure as a whole (plus you can gaze at all of the pretty lights of Hollywoodland).