Carving Out a Niche: Unique Architecture Inspired By Ancient Cliff Dwellings

Ameen Ayoub Design Studio is known for producing inventive residential projects which reflect their geographical site and connect to the environment. This philosophy is underscored in a contemporary mansion with unique architecture, planned for a swath of privately-owned acreage inside historic Runyon Canyon Park in Los Angeles. For this modernist residence, Ayoub was influenced by Native American cliff dwellings built by Ancestral Pueblo people during the 1200s.

“I grew up in the desert Southwest near New Mexico and the landscape there has always inspired me,” Ayoub said. “The geologic structures are bare and raw and sublime to see and experience. I spent a great deal of time hiking and fly fishing near the Gila Wilderness National Forest. I became familiar with the cliff dwelling structures when I was in high school, and visited them during my architecture graduate school days. What struck me most was the near seamless blend between manmade and natural structures. The Runyon Canyon topography and site lent itself to a partially-buried structure, much like the cliff dwellings.”

unique architecture inspired by ancient cliff dwellings

Ayoub was sensitive to the popular park and its relation to the future home site, opting to tuck the mansion into its surroundings as much as possible. “It was important to create a structure that could mirror some of the natural elements in the park but still have its own character. We introduced a structure that was truly built into the side of a hill and created undulating roofs that could be walked on, much like the trails inside the park.” He describes the architectural style as “contemporary and at the same time ancient. The blend of the old and new was the goal; it’s a structure that has the capability of becoming timeless.”

Another notable structure is already on the building site, Ayoub revealed. “There is an existing Lloyd Wright home on the property which is listed as a historical structure and we are preserving it. The new home will be positioned on the western downslope to conceal itself from the Mulholland Scenic Drive. The views will capture Hollywood to West Los Angeles.”

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