Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Architecture Tour in LA - HOUSE I

Latimer Road residence.
The Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects sponsors regular tours of new architecture. The most recent was last Sunday, focusing on four modern homes in the hills off Sunset Boulevard. Each one was better than the next, but all were notable for exquisite details, great siting, and a relentlessly modern attitude. There were no stunning "Fallingwater moments" on this tour. That is, no house stood out as an overwhelming architectural image. However, all were proud products of of their place and time.  All of them looked like Case Study houses fifty years after. (The Case Study houses were a mid-century architectural program in LA that promoted a modern esthetic.) In other words, these homes could properly exist nowhere but Los Angeles. Transparent to the environment and structurally minimalist, they were all mature examples of sophisticated and fully developed modern architecture. The next four blog entries are a photographic report on these homes.  Remember: it is the details that are important here.

HOUSE I: Latimer Road Residence

Designed by Rick Leslie Architects, at 4700 square feet this is the smallest of the four homes on the tour. It is also the most lived-in and friendly. Nestled in a warren of roads down Rustic Canyon, the setting is out of a Raymond Chandler murder mystery. The rainy morning contributed to that feeling. However, rain made the canyon green and the house was a welcome retreat on a dreary day.
A sliding panel conceals a TV over the fireplace.

A straightforward outdoor fireplace.

The canyon property was terraced to accommodate a pool.

Cabinets and niches detailed with finesse.

A simple tub, simply detailed.

Out of the Neutra tradition: an industrial esthetic transparent
to the natural environment.

A surprise peek-a-boo niche
between stairs and living room.

Stairs, pure and simple.

All photos: MJK

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