Largely unmodified since its design by Russell Forester and construction in 1957, the structure housed the original family until 2013. An intimate 1,910 square foot space, the house acquired a separate 600 square foot cottage in the 70’s designed by another architect. New owners purchased the house with the idea of keeping the original architect’s intent intact – the simple accommodation of everyday life with a focus on outdoor living only possible in Southern California. At the same time the house needed insulation, new electrical, plumbing, siding – everything but new studs and foundations.
A single roof beam travels south from the north fireplace wall all the way to the bedrooms in the back. Functions occur to either side, with private access to exterior courtyards. How do we accentuate the uncomplicated while enhancing the qualities of the chosen materials? Contemporary applied to a mid-century scaffold.
We focused on reduction, a few things performing many tasks. Each component, material or color performs more than one duty.
Lighting is paramount, enhancing the design’s procession from front to back, north to south, public to private. Strip LED’s reinforce the beam’s linear presence and spot LED’s make punctuation points of the roof purlins. Hidden up and down-lights in the cabinets and elsewhere provide the rooms with a quiet glow.
Exterior grass plantings give the only vertical dimension to the design, waving as the breeze moves them. All else is horizontal: caramelized bamboo siding, porcelain tile, roof line and ocean horizon.