Location: Los Angeles, California

Client: Private Owner

This three-story, 5,000 square foot urban townhouse is built on a commercial street in central Los Angeles. The client and family wished to live within walking distance of commercial services, within a mixed-use urban environment, and reduce automobile use in Los Angeles, a predominantly suburban region. The exterior façade is composed of corrugated steel panels and custom glass curtainwall. A kind of precision has been achieved through the manipulation of these materials into pure geometric forms which both speaks to the inner workings of the house, and, at the same time, sheds the imagistic notions of the traditional single family dwelling. The ground floor provides space for laundry, housekeeper, utilities, and a large area used by the children as a studio and electronic music room. Under the elevated slab of the second floor above, there is shelter for automobiles, and small urban gardens exist to the front and rear of the house, flower and kitchen garden to the rear, outdoor room with canopy trees and hedgerow wall to the front. The second floor is the primary activity floor, with living and dining rooms, kitchen, private patio and swimming pool, and master bedroom suite. The third, and top, floor comprises a library, and children’s bedrooms. With the exception of individual bedrooms, all rooms interconnect horizontally and vertically in a spatially complex way which blurs specific functions and endows movement through the house with a kind of public quality.

Interior materials are both highly tailored and extremely straightforward. Ebonized millwork and custom colored glass with stainless steel frames and connectors sit on floors of gray steel troweled concrete. Oriented with the long axis of the house to the south, the building has large expanses of southerly glass which act as a passive heat sink during the winter months and orient living spaces toward the afternoon sunset.