FORM braved the rain on Sunday and attended the AIA/LA Fall Home Tour: Off Sunset-Brentwood to Palisades. Even in the gloomy climate, we were awed and inspired by the extraordinary home designs. The weather showed the versatility of the homes to offer both outdoor spaces, as well as comfortable and innovative interiors to watch the passing storm.
Our first stop was at La Mesa House, an early abode house by John Byers. Although the front of the home is the only feature from the 1920’s home, the interior of the home offered a modern, yet appropriate remodel. Through forensic analysis of the original home, the designer John Dutton, AIA, LEED AP, was able to gain insight into materials and finishes to accurately complete the remodel. The new courtyard provided a seamless integration between the interior and exterior of the home, and served as a place for quiet contemplation, especially in the rain. The rear of the site featured the more modern aspects of the home – an infinity-edge pool and detached guest house – which felt unique yet coherent with the rest of the property, and offered beautiful views of the Riviera Country Club and Santa Monica Mountains.
The second home on the tour was The Carrillo Residence, designed by Steven Ehrlich, FAIA. The modern exterior was juxtaposed with sculptures of sheep, hinting at the desire of the young family to create a formal, yet informal and comfortable space. The interior of the home further expressed the family’s character, with artwork and artifacts from the couple’s home countries and travels. The location of the home on a long narrow site on the rim of the Santa Monica Canyon offers views of the canyon and mountains. The outdoor environment further inspired the stone masses on the ground floor, while the floating white box above the master bedroom wing gestures towards the home’s views.
The third residence was the Sycamore House, the home of architect Michael Kovac, AIA and his wife. The recycled fiber cement facade of the home was enhanced by subtle etching patterns of the surrounding sycamore trees by artist Jill Sykes. The focus on the environment was prevalent throughout the home, which is on track for LEED Platinum Certification. A 23-foot tall concrete wall anchors the home to its site, and provides a thermal mass to passively regulate heating and cooling. A green roof, reclaimed wood flooring, and non-VOC paints further add to the sustainable agenda of the home. The couple’s influence, such as the wife’s love of the color purple, is demonstrated in subtle features such as the refrigerator door and color projection on the shower door.
The final home was the Massey’s Residence, located in a residential neighborhood with views of the Santa Monica Mountain. Architect Mehrnoosh Mojallali, AIA successfully completed the challenge to transform the existing folk house into the contemporary residence it is today. Through turning the courtyard into the focal point of the family residence, with an outdoor seating and entertainment area, the central room of the home is expanded to the outside. The second floor offers a large landing, which serves as an office with views of the surrounding canyon and courtyard. The master suite, located at the rear of the second story, allows for a quiet private retreat for the young parents.
All in all, FORM was glad to be part of both of the AIA/LA Fall Home Tours and looks forward to future tours!