Historic Los Feliz – LA

This 1912 home, previously used as a talent guest house in Los Angeles for the movie studio across the street, features Mission and Moroccan elements which are also distinctly modern in their feel. Warren Techentin Architecture aimed to retain and restore these details, but also transitionally modernise them. A number of small additions were made to augment the interiors as well as balance the overall massing. In addition, the fenestration for the whole house was revisited, unifying the exterior facades and accentuating the relationship of each room to the surrounding gardens. Working closely in collaboration with the clients, the studio refinished every room, updating them with carefully curated modern finishes.
On the exterior, additions were made to emphasise entry and balance the houses relative to each other. Porches, awnings, a stair, and an indoor/outdoor freestanding chimney in the spirit of Louis Kahn all helped define the masses and their relationship to the surrounding gardens.
The interiors were similarly reorganised around renovated windows which looked out onto the variously scaled gardens surrounding the main house. Internally, the house was re-scripted as a single-family residence. A series of connections was created to support this, opening up the house and helping to create flow between rooms. The connections largely honour the scale and use of existing rooms while clarifying the private and public areas of the house as well as reducing the maze-like feel.
The details were largely simplified to help create a sense of consistency to the house. The pared-down use of materials echoes minimalist themes found in the work of artists such as Josef Beuys and Donald Judd where the perceived heft and solidity of an object outweigh surface appeal.
The clients decided to consolidate the main house, which had been split into 3 apartments, and hired WTARCH to work closely with them to restore the character while modernising the house at the same time. Because the clients are both artists, it was a true collaboration.

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