This California Supervillain Lair Was Inspired by Chainsaw Art

In the spring of 1974, avant-garde artist Gordon Matta-Clark used a chainsaw to cut the home at 322 Humphrey Street in Englewood, New Jersey, right down the middle, from roof to foundation. Ironically, Matta-Clark’s resulting work — called Splitting — went on to inspire the construction (rather than the demolition) of the California home you see above.

Dug into the side of a hill in Brentwood, the multi-level Barrington House nods to Splitting with an east-west channel cut deep into the hillside that offers a clear view through the entire structure. Constructed by Eric Rosen Architects, Barrington House relies on a Z-shaped design to connect the interior space that’s spread throughout the 9,500-square-foot home’s three floors. Outdoor spaces — including a new pool, sun deck and artificial turf-topped roof — are also part of the design.

Barrington (6 images)

Construction of Barrington House began simultaneously on the house’s northern and southern edges, moving inward toward the channel. “There came a point where we had to jump in, trusting that all our work would pay off,” Rosen told Architectural Record. “When the two sides came together within a ⅛-inch tolerance, we all breathed a sigh of relief.”

Lending further credence to the notion that good things happen when two sides meet in the middle.