Modern Marvel Bridges the Past + Future

May 25, 2021

Hancock Park is a neighborhood in Los Angeles where Hollywood moguls of the 1920s and 1930s often worked with their set designers to build homes that reflected their eclectic tastes or resembled old-world architecture. So, when you come across a modern marvel of structural engineering like the Bridge House, it can be a little jarring—but in the best way possible.

Avante AV Garage Door on Bridge House

Architect Dan Brunn handpicked Clopay’s Avante aluminum and glass garage door for the award-winning Bridge House in Los Angeles.

After two years of construction, Dan Brunn, AIA, and Principal of Dan Brunn Architecture (DBA), debuted Bridge House, an ode to sustainable living.

Stretching 210 feet long, the one-of-a-kind residence straddles a natural brook in an architectural maneuver that gives the home its name.

Bridge House over the stream

Sixty-five feet of Bridge House are suspended over a stream.

The home attracted worldwide media attention and earned a Residential Design Award from AIA LA. Today, it serves as a demonstration house for forward-thinking architecture as well as an exhibit space, events venue, and residence.

Bridge House Backyard

Designed by Brunn himself, Bridge House embraces the minimalist style his firm is known for with clean, simple lines, an emphasis on geometric elements, and a decided connection to nature.

Sustainability played a huge part in the overall design of the house as Brunn aimed to create a net zero home incorporating eco-friendly construction methods and materials, appliances, lighting, doors, windows, and water.

He used almost 90 percent recycled-steel content for the framework and installed foam panels to create a thermal envelope for airtight insulation. The roof contains a series of solar cells, which generate electricity and provide low-impact energy sourcing.

Bridge House Interior

Habitat Horticulture collaborated with Brunn to create a115-square-foot living green wall in the home’s entertainment room. Six different plant species w were chosen for the space based on light variations, predicted humidity, and aesthetic impact.

Bridge House Courtyard

Floor-to-ceiling windows run the length of the rectilinear residence, filling the interior with natural light.

Bridge House Exterior

The windows are almost all north-facing, reducing direct sun exposure (and therefore, heat) from the south.

Bridge House Backyard

The long profile of the Bridge House not only stretches across a creek but was designed to blend in with the surrounding landscape. Sixty-five feet of the home’s length are suspended, which meant less land had to be disturbed. Brunn also kept all the existing trees on the site intact.

Bridge House Entrance

When it came to deciding on a garage door, nothing complemented the home’s style better than Clopay’s aluminum and glass Avante.

Brunn wanted to have a connection between the entry way and the garage. The Avante’s clean lines and broad expanses of glass echo the rest of the house.

Avante AV Garage Door on Bridge House

Light-colored cedar planks adorn the exterior walls and contrast with the black frame and sleek glass of the garage door, creating an interesting entrance to the property.

“The translucent glass is a perfect solution. It blurs the lines between interior and exterior,” said Brunn. And having the insulated glass helps with energy consumption. Daylight comes in without compromising privacy.”

The garage is outfitted with a charging station for electric cars and was even used as the setting for BMW’s concept car launch.

Bridge House Avante AV Garage Door

The Avante allowed for a dramatic reveal—the car was parked inside the garage and backlit so attendees could see its silhouette behind the frosted glass panels.

Avante AV Garage Door Opening

Avante AV Garage Door Interior

“It was amazing to see the crowd standing around the garage, then the vehicle lights shined through the glass,” Brunn says. “Finally, the garage door opened to showcase BMW’s Vision M Next concept car. It was a magical moment,” Brunn said.

Avante AV Garage Door with BMW

Another environmentally friendly feature of the house is the permeable paver driveway (a requirement in L.A.) that helps manage storm water by reducing rain runoff. The unique geometric pattern made of terrazzo pavers lends itself perfectly to the contemporary look of the Avante.

Avante AV Garage Door on Bridge House with BMW in Driveway

“We tried to think outside the box, while building a box,” Brunn said. “The fact that we were able to get it built, and work with our favorite partners like Clopay, is an achievement. It’s such a hard time to build a standard project, let alone a bridge, that is a house. I am proud that we are also able to share the story and I feel this is the duty of an architect. We should really think about built environments and how we can protect our planet. Bridge House takes that a step forward.”

Avante AV Garage Door on Bridge House Aerial View

Solar cells on the roof of Bridge House generate electricity for low-impact energy sourcing.

Dan Brunn Architecture residential designs has earned awards from AIA LA, as well as A+ Awards from Architizer, and the Most Renowned California Architect Award from the BUILD Architecture Awards. The firm is also included on LA Architects list of the “Best Green Architects in Los Angeles.”

Bridge House on Elle Decor Cover

Since its debut, Bridge House has been featured in print and online.

Bridge House has been featured in The LA Times, Dwell, Elle Décor, Dezeen, Arch Daily, Interior Design, Design Milk, Vogue, Architectural Digest, Architectural Record, DIGS, Naturally, Danny Seo, Archello, and in Clopay’s 2021 Lookbook.

Clopay Lookbook

See more photos of Bridge House at

Garage door and LiftMaster opener installation services provided by G & G Garage Door Co.

Photos by: Brandon Shigeta and Dan Brunn, AIA.


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