Major addition and remodel of existing home in the secluded Benedict Canyon neighborhood of Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, CA.
Originally built in 1956, this mid-century home seemed incomplete. Unlike its spectacular location, the house lacked presence. It did not have a clear entry at the front of the house; instead, it was all about driving into the garage. The steeply sloped rooflines seemed to present a void at the front facade. We wanted any changes to be thoughtful and appropriate additions to blend seamlessly with the existing house.
Before: The Front Facade
We had three clear issues to address:
1. the family needed more space
2. the home needed a focal point and direction.
3. the home needed updated styling and refinement of its original mid-century roots
We had the opportunity to create structure and spaces and to highlight the qualities of the existing home while integrating new materials. We designed an addition over the garage and an addition at the front of the home that would connect the new and existing spaces.
The new entryway is made of glass and wood with a 13’ tall Douglas Fir pivot door at the entry. The wall of floor to ceiling windows brings in much needed natural light, as well as cross ventilation through low-level, operable windows. The new interior space is opened, yet defined as you step from a polished concrete floor up two stairs and then seamlessly through a new large opening on the existing exterior wall, which connects the entry to the Living and Dining Room. The new entryway defines clearly where the front of the home is and provides a sophisticated presence to a home that lacked charisma; all while not encroach on the existing driveway.
We designed the two tiered entryway to include a cantilevered bench that spans the entire profile of the staircase and that ends near a hidden coat closet–created by using wood paneling with a flush pocketing door system. The bench is an extension of the third step (or first step from the main living area) to the new second story. This design created a fluidity and movement to the space while integrating existing and new.
American walnut flooring was used for the stairs and as you ascend to the second floor, you’ll see the custom fabricated board-formed concrete wall where the random board sizes were sandblasted prior to forming, which provides the rough texture and makes the wood grain read clearly on the concrete.
As you enter the second-floor living space, a 10’ tall walnut panel can be pulled from the wall to create privacy for the second-floor living space. This room is perfect for entertaining, with a gas fireplace and glass doors that disappear by pocketing into the stucco fireplace wall. (The stucco interior and exterior details of the home echo the rock outcropping of the canyon beyond.) The room also opens to a large outdoor balcony space. Above the balcony is a large metal trellis to control the amount of direct sunlight entering the large glass doors during the hot summer months. There is also a private bedroom, bathroom, and closet suite on this new level.
Our solution – we fit these new spatial volumes while transforming the home into a modern style, contemporary home with the Kurt Krueger Architects version of “California-Cool and Contemporary.” We resolved the issue with the front entry and gave the home more definition in a harmonious way.
From the Blog
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