This was a home inspired by bibliophile parents and their three active boys. Sited on a downslope lot, backed to a wooded canyon, this house is configured in a “H” shape to break up the volume along the street front. The two wings, cladded in white shiplapped siding, houses domestic functions of the home. One is for the parents. The other is for the children. The connection in the middle acts as a bridge where public functions occurs. This center connection also maximizes the indoor/outdoor connection. The first floor great room serves as an area for entertaining. The second floor reading room is where the children study and read. This is all connected by a library tower, that serves as an entrance and the transitions between the different reading levels.
The interior of the home was inspired by the outdoors. The soft grays and light blue paint colors mimics the skies over Los Angeles. All of the materials selected in the home are selected for their durability. Furnishings are clad in outdoor materials. The exterior outdoor furnishing are out of plastic, ready for hose down. This includes the concrete ping-pong tables that is ready for al fresco dining.
The exterior landscape is also designed with the family in mind. Utilizing the downward slope and the ancient oak tree. The built-in slide brings you down from the bluestone deck to a tree house that is built around the oak tree.
Manhattan Beach Residence
This residence is a remodel addition to an existing 4,402 s.f. house that was originally constructed in a contemporary Santa Fe Style with purple and yellow stucco. The clients came to us wanting to add a clean modern glass box for the second floor master bedroom, better connection to the outdoors, and blur the line between formal and informal spaces.
We proposed to create series of view spaces borrowing from the Japanese concept of Tokonoma or an area where items for artistic appreciation are displayed.. A series of view spaces to anchor each major room were created. Rather than simply opening up the rooms to the exterior, we achieved this by framing the flowering tree in the neighbor’s yard in an alcove, by setting green foreground on a roof deck to the city view, or framing the sky in the dining room.
In the master suite, we wanted to create an oasis where the Clients can escape their day to day life. Upon entrance, you are greeted by an internal courtyard displaying a green wall with a stainless steel sculpture framed by glass and open to the sky. This Tsuboniwa (petit garden) is flanked by the wet room (shower and bath area) and the master bedroom. It also doubles as an outdoor shower area. The glass door between the wet room and Tsuboniwa recesses into the wall, thus enlarging the space. The planting around this second floor suite also gives a sense of grounding and foreground to the view beyond.
La Serena Villas Hotel
The original La Serena Villas consisted of eleven 1930s cottages built in the Spanish eclectic style popular at the time. It was listed as a Class 1 Historical Property by the City of Palm Springs.
We started the project with the intention to create intimacy and privacy with courtyards and meandering paths filled with romance and intrigue, as if you were wondering through an old Spanish town. We brought back the details influenced by George Washington Smith, and imbued the existing structures with modern amenities. In addition, we added three new structures that houses a new reception/retail area, a restaurant building with roof deck overlooking the Palm Springs Mountains, and a quiet pool with private massage pavilion.
The hotel was recognized by the City of Palm Springs for the creative reconstruction of La Serena Villas.
Marine Loft is a 1,750 s.f. residential loft space located at the corner of Main and Marine Street in Santa Monica. The Client, who is from the Midwest, relocated from New York City. He is an avid surfer who embraces the California lifestyle. He wanted to be reminded of the natural environment where he grew up and yet respect the industrial nature of the space.
The design concept was to anchor the large linear entry space with a conversational piece. This was created by using industrial materials such as a 16 foot long island constructed out of reclaimed logs and plumbing pipes. The island itself is divided up into areas for eating, drinking, and reading. Continuing this concept, the materials of the reclaimed wood and industrial products were used throughout the loft.
Located where the famed Sunset Boulevard meets the Pacific Ocean, this unique board formed concrete building has served as an iconic entrance to Pacific Palisades for decades. Abandoned since the early 1990s due to financial issues, the building fell into condition of disrepair.
When the clients came to us, we saw the building shell as an opportunity. The concept is to give individual personality to each unit and create the vibe of separate dwellings rather than your typical apartment/condo living. Each unit now has a private outdoor space that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Each unit retained its loft like nature of soaring ceiling and open plan. The coolness of the aged concrete is balanced by warmth of textured wood, Moroccan tiles, and native landscaping.
It is the ultimate synthesis of industrial chic meets California zen.
Los Olivos Ranch
Located in the quiet setting of Los Olivos wine country outside of Santa Barbara, this large compound consists of the main house and six individual cottages. The property was used as a horse ranch, stagecoach stop and even camp for the small gauge railroad executives and workers traveling from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. The Client wanted to create a beautiful setting to host large charity events and family gatherings.
We worked closely with the Client on creating a vision and restoring each cottages to its own unique style. Stories were developed for each cottage to create a different look. There were the wine lover’s cottage, the ladies’ cottage, the newlywed’s cottage, and etc. The process was organic. We respected the existing landscape and simply followed its form to create natural gathering spaces.
Beverly Hills Guest House
Situated along the steep hills of Benedict Canyon Road in Beverly Hills, the Client wanted to re-landscape and add a guest house that can accommodate her aging mother, along with a gym, area for entertaining, and a pool. Utilizing the steepness of the hill,, we created large expanse of flat area and roof deck for Client’s multiple charity functions and was able to excavate the hillside to create a subterranean gym that opened up to the hillside view along with a pedestrian walking path for exercise. Along the way, we were also able to create multiple moments for contemplation and rest.
The guest house was created in the Santa Fe style in accordance to the existing main house.
Malibu Point Dume Residence
Sited along the cliff of Point Dume, the former Johnny Carson Estate was completely renovated to suit the current Client’s need. The original architecture from the Seventies by Ed Niles was preserved, along with its interior arboretum.. We updated the infrastructure to meet today’s modern needs.
Beyond the gated driveway, this magnificent estate boasts panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. It sits on over 4 acres of land with private beach access. We carefully juxtaposed the Client’s exquisite art collection within the architecture. To suit the Client’s need for formal entertaining, we created a private dining area along with a chef’s kitchen.
Check out the rest of the residence through this link.
We transformed this 1920s former Sunset Boulevard Ford car dealership/grocery store/sofa factory into the West Coast Headquarters for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Preserving the original exterior and shell, the interior was transformed to house two floor of animal friendly offices. All materials used are organic and not tested on animals. The exterior Art Deco details were also preserved and restored to its former glory.
Check out the interior of the space from the dog’s point of view with Ella.