The Norwich Drive Residence features inspiring design and novel use of materials, the personal home of architect Clive Wilkinson, located in West Hollywood, California. The 3,300 square foot house was designed by the architect with the need to address two separate issues. From an urban design perspective, it needed to conform to City of West Hollywood design guidelines and fit into a small scale residential neighborhood, at the same time as transitioning in scale from the adjacent commercial strip of Melrose Avenue. In response to interest from friends, it also needed to provide a kind of prototype for an economical ‘starter urban house’ that would accommodate the new young urbanite lifestyle.
The second goal was complicated by specific site conditions: the lot was a non-standard trapezoidal form, widening towards the rear, as well as having a commercial building to the north that overlooked the site.
In an effort to reduce the house to a set of essential ideas, responses to existing conditions began to set the pattern of the house. The mass to the street was broken down allowing a single story over the garage and roof terrace. It was possible to screen the front yard with greenery, so an olive grove was planted up to the street. On entering the front gate, a visitor can see the full depth of the site – from the olive grove, through the glazed living room, to the rear yard and swimming pool – which enlarges the scale of the house. The living room is compressed in height, but opens to the two-story kitchen/dining room. All links between rooms are articulated on the diagonal with openings in corners, which again enlarges the sense of space.
The house addresses contemporary California living. There is one unified social space – the heart of the house – comprising living, dining and kitchen. Bedrooms are simple spaces re-convertible into studio or office type uses, especially the upstairs front room which is divided with a sliding wall. The master bedroom is located on the ground to emphasize a separation from the outside world (no views over the neighborhood) and a close link to the heart of the house. It has open bath and dressing areas, and a concealed video projection system for watching TV or movies in bed. The bathroom has a freestanding bath that opens to the pool via sliding doors, and the shower has double glass doors that allow wet bathers to shower directly after swimming without wetting the interior. Video projection is also used in the living room.
The building is a smooth stucco box – a vernacular LA type – with the living areas opening up to the exterior via large sliding glass doors. The house’s environmental performance is passive and uses basic sustainability ideas: electrically operated skylights exhaust hot air using a chimney effect in the double height space – and keep warm air inside during winter, insulation is optimized, underfloor heating is provided on ground level and the outside landscape uses a low water xeriscape approach, with a mostly gravel ground cover suitable for the desert location. From another sustainable viewpoint, the house is located in walking distance of the owner’s office, as well as walking distance of about 35 restaurants and bars, reducing car use considerably.
There is a raw expression of structure throughout the house – ceilings are exposed diagonal wood sheathing with a sprayed insulation roof on top. Floors are either smooth concrete, or wide plank quarter sawn oak, or white rubber stud. Walls are white drywall. Clive Wilkinson uses color and creative expression in many of his projects, but the intention here was to avoid expression and achieve a house that was both a simple art studio, which allowed the mind to wander without associations, and an adaptable place to socialize with friends.
Photos: Benny Chan, Fotoworks
Woodside Estate is a custom home comprised of 7,200 square feet of living space, recently designed by FGY Architects, located in Woodside, California. This custom estate encompasses a Main house, Pool House, Art Studio, and detached garage. The stone and stucco house, reminiscent of rustic stone homes from the south of France, looks out onto the pool and yard on one side and inward to an enclosed courtyard on the other. Modern technology is hidden amongst the historic detailing as the whole house can be controlled by iPad’s embedded in the walls or remotely on a phone.
Fergus Garber Young Architects is a full-service architectural firm providing a higher level of attention, management and environmental stewardship to clients, both residential and commercial, that have a long term interest in their property.
We create projects that both we and our clients are proud of. Our clients value our ability to understand them. The varied architectural styles of our projects reflect our goal to embrace our clients’ interests and desires. We match their goals to the essential qualities of good architecture: strong plans, good proportions, and a high attention to detail to make functional and beautiful houses.
Photos: © Bernardo Grijalva Photography
Santa Monica Residence is an extension project to a mid century home, the vision of architecture studio Jendretzki, located in Santa Monica, California. Completed in 2012, this beautiful pavilion was inspired by the clients’ appreciation for Scandinavian design.
This new pavilion added to an existing mid century house in the Rustic Canyon area of Santa Monica bordering the Pacific Palisades involved negotiating the high functioning requirements of a Los Angeles based family and their love for Scandinavian design and detailing.
By utilizing a muted material palette of light toned wood and glass we were able to harmoniously engage the southern California sun and create a tranquil work studio and inviting home.
The building has a total surface of 12,000 square feet and is well connected with its surroundings. The interiors are characterized by a minimalist approach, with wood playing a major role in creating a friendly atmosphere. Simple lines and ingenious functionality are two of the main features of this Santa Monica Residence.
Photos: Alejandro Wirth
Sausalito Hillside Remodel is a 1940s ranch style home transformed into a family retreat by Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects, located in Sausalito, California. The architects renovated this two-unit ranch house into a serene, single-family retreat that captures sweeping views of San Francisco Bay. Perched on a steeply sloping hillside in Sausalito, the 3,888 square foot house is nearly invisible from the street.
We replaced the original aggregation of roof shapes on the upper level with a simple, light-filled building volume. A cascading series of garden terraces creates an inviting entry sequence along the north side, allowing the original front-yard to be developed as a private garden.
Inside, floor to ceiling windows and generous ceiling heights allow the living spaces to flow uninterrupted from the lush backdrop of the hillside garden, to the broad panorama of the bay. As a result, the soaring view is grounded by a strong connection to the land.
Photos: Mathew Millman
The architects designed this New England-style home for a family of six, who wanted a casual and comfortable home, which reflects their local beach lifestyle. The newly constructed property includes a 6,487 square foot main house with five bedrooms and three bathrooms as well as a 1,134 square foot guest house and adjacent pool. Clad in cedar shingle siding, the home’s exterior reflects Cape Cod-inspired design, with flaired-out walls, boxed windows, and a wide front porch.
In contrast to the traditional exterior, the interior of the home is surprisingly contemporary and eclectic. The interior designer appointed the home with unique elements including a barbed-wire dining room pendant, vintage rugs from Stark Carpet, colorful artwork, vintage tables from Juxtaposition Home and RJ Imports, and chevron-patterned textiles.
Photos: Courtesy of Burdge & Associates Architects
Marra Road House project was designed by Dowling Studios as a weekend home for a family who live in San Francisco, located in Sonoma County, California. The house is located on an 8 acre site, nestled in a unique surrounding of redwood groves, a seasonal creek, grassy meadows and rolling vineyards. The indoor/outdoor living experience was the driving force of the design.
The home is comprised of two linked 1,000-square-foot pavilions. The volumes echo architect Philip Johnson’s 1949 Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, though it avoids the 1949 structure’s iconic exhibitionism.
The simply detailed, taut, flat-roofed home’s two wings form a T-shape. One wing runs north to south, parallel to a pool, and contains the open-plan living spaces.
The great room has three walls of floor-to-ceiling Fleetwood sliding doors that open to wide concrete patios shaded by deep roof overhangs. The doors allow easy indoor-outdoor living and provide remarkably efficient “air-conditioned” spaces on even the hottest days, while a two-sided interior-exterior fireplace makes the north patio a winter favorite.
A large central great room forms the center of the house and is surrounded on three sides with full height sliding doors. The great room is wrapped by a covered patio and opens on to a pool, outdoor living room with fireplace, and an outdoor dining area with vineyard and forest views.
The other wing contains a master suite, a children’s room with bunk beds, and a studio that doubles as a guest room. A limited palette of wood, concrete, and metal; solar and radiant heating systems; and efficient construction methods all work together to exceed California’s stringent energy codes by 15 percent.
Sustainable design was a high priority, with the use of a solar powered radiant concrete floor and domestic hot water system, a PV solar system for electricity, and solar pool heating. Sustainable products such as reconstituted wood for cabinetry, low VOC paints, and 100% wool carpet were integrated into the design as well. This project was completed in 2012.
Photos: Courtesy of Dowling Studios
Thayer House is a simple, yet elegant home that incorporates outdoor living, designed by Neumann Mendro Andrulaitis Architects, located in Montecito, California. The residence offers an open floor plan that allows for both comfortable family living and entertaining. Over the years many of the firm’s clients have preferred project designs that have tended to be larger, more detailed and more elaborate. The owner’s vision was something much simpler. For this home design they went back to the basics.
We went with what is essential and needed for modern living. Nothing extra, over the top, or overdone. The resulting size, scale and the understated feel of the home is special. It has everything that is essential for modern living, but it also has a Zen-like simplicity and elegance. There is definitely something to be said for going back to the basics and focusing on the essentials.
The design throughout the home is termed as soft modernism, carried out by local interior designer, Micholyn Brown. She has a great sensibility and everything she does is refined and elegant. But unlike many modern interior designs, it is also natural, tactile, and soft around the edges.
Transfused throughout her interiors and the building design. The result is elegant, modern, yet comfortable living spaces. You don’t feel like you’re living in a precious hard-edged glass house and that your life is dictated by the design. It is rather the opposite; the house is the perfect backdrop for comfortable elegant modern living and entertaining. And the owner’s outstanding taste in design and artwork certainly added to the process and final design.
The great room design is accommodating for both living and entertaining. The size, scale, furnishings and amenities of the space are ideal, making it comfortable for the owner when he is alone and when family is visiting.
The space also works well for larger gatherings and entertaining. With the flow of the space, the kitchen, dining, living room arrangement, the way the room opens up seamlessly to the north and south courtyards, the house can comfortably accommodate entertaining on a grand scale.
The team started with the idea of a courtyard design. The house embraces the site with north and south courtyards. Large door and windows open directly onto the landscape, the fountain pool, and the distant mountain views. It is quintessential California indoor-outdoor living.
The indoor/outdoor relationship is key. The owner had lived in the Hedgerow neighborhood for years and had never noticed the quiet property behind the large hedge. To his credit, he wanted to preserve that secluded hedgerow feel and have the house design take advantage of and build upon the beautiful landscape.
General contractor Rich Coffin was involved from the beginning of the design process. The architects worked closely with him, tailoring the design to meet the homeowner’s budget and to build the home in the most efficient cost-effective way possible. The house was constructed in only six months, on budget, with practically no changes and no compromises in quality.
Photos: Ciro Coelho Photography
This Martis Camp Estate Home is a contemporary mountain property that has been designed by BAR Architects, located in Truckee, Nevada County, California. One of the original objectives of BAR’s design was to orient this custom mountain home to take maximum advantage of the spectacular views to the Carson Range and Northstar’s Lookout Mountain afforded by this amazing lot in Martis Camp. To achieve this, the primary rooms of the 7,580 square foot house – living, dining, kitchen, family room, master bedroom and kids’ bedrooms – are aligned along the hillside to front towards the view.
A large great room has large sliding doors that pocket into the walls to allow the interior to completely open up to the exterior and the views. In addition to providing maximum views, the careful planning of this upslope lot preserves a large existing pine tree at the center of the lot as a feature that brings the forest right up to the front door, and provides for indoor/outdoor living for all seasons.
The home was laid out as three separate gable structures. One gable for the garage and guest rooms; another housing the great room pavilion; and the third housing the master bedroom, TV room and study. The three camp buildings are linked by a glazed flat roof breezeway housing the entry, boot/coat room, powder room and stair to the lower level.
The design of the floor plan results in a home that is both comfortable for the owners when they are there by themselves, yet expandable to comfortably accommodate up to 18 friends and family. The architecture brings together simple traditional mountain building forms with large openings and contemporary detailing to the great satisfaction and delight of the owners.
Photos: Courtesy of BAR Architects
Designed by BAR Architects, Soda Canyon Residence seamlessly blends into its setting on the side of a canyon that branches off the Napa Valley in California. The client’s vision was to construct a home in which it is hard to tell where the house stops and the landscape begins.
This 13,000 square foot main house occupies one of the last available ridge top sites in Napa Valley with sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay to the south, and the length and breadth of the Napa Valley.
The guest house served as a successful testing ground for design ideas used in the main house on the ridge above. Designed to merge into the landscape, the guest house incorporates the use of wood trellises, stone elements and colored stucco that reflect the color palette of the surrounding hills. Limited by local ordinances to 995 square feet of interior space, the plan more than doubles the usable area by adding a covered loggia between the bedroom suites, decks and a courtyard.
Entering the main house, one crosses a rich white Alhambra limestone floor to the living room. Sliding doors reveal a dramatic wrap-around stone-paved terrace, which spills into the game room linking the interior to a second terrace accessing the pool area. A door in the game room reveals a spiral staircase leading down to a 1,750 square foot wine cave. The wine cave is a series of rooms leading out to daylight at a portal, landscaped with planting and a seating area, with views of Mount St. Helena to the north.
Photos: Matthew Millman Photography
521 Chalette Drive Estate was built by Gordon Gibson Construction, located in luxurious Trousdale Estates, a neighborhood in Beverly Hills, California. The 5,638 square foot, four bedroom, five bathroom home offers spectacular city and ocean views from nearly every room while setting the bar for high-end quality. Architecturally inspiring with a tribute to mid-century clean lines joined with modern elegance, a package that radiates warmth and maximizes the scale and proportions.
We spotted this fabulous property listed for sale at $14,500,000, from here.
This luxurious estate is private and gated, equipped with state of the art Crestron home automation that creates a lifestyle of effortless functionality and security.
Completely reimagined and meticulously designed with open spaces and Fleetwood pocket doors throughout that seamlessly integrate the interior and exterior, offering the ultimate California lifestyle.
From frameless glass garage doors to Calcutta gold kitchen counters and backsplash, a spa that floats inside the zero-edge pool, this brand new edition to Trousdale is a true masterpiece of sophisticated home design.