July 18, 2011 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
Photo: Fung + Blatt Architects.
This is the second in a series of five homes and gardens in the Silverlake and Echo Park neighborhoods that I visited as part of Dwell on Design’s self-guided tour of East Side Los Angeles residences, all exemplifying a modern and conceptually-driven design aesthetic, at the same time socially and environmentally sensitive.
A gentle slope and a few steps brings visitors to the L-shaped house that was one of my favorites for the manner in which the boundaries between indoors and out were blurred. Forming an “S” shape around two informal courtyards, the contemporary house rises between pairs of concrete walls from the ground to the main upper level.
Clever seamless corner windows by Milgard defy the expected, offering an unobstructed straight line of view from the open kitchen to the outside. A three-story stair tower serves as a ‘thermal chimney’ and imparts natural light deep into the interior, and enables convective cooling throughout the house. A cantilevered upper-level deck offers city views to both the dining and family room areas.
Climbing the open stairwell, one can peer down onto the family living area below and an upper-level library opens to a viewing deck of its own. Even from the shower, one can view the back garden and, from the shower’s glass door, exit right onto the back deck.
Designed by Fung + Blatt Architects, the residence is a collection of simple forms that together form a dynamic relationship between the interior and exterior spaces. The angles and open areas cast some wonderful graphic shadows when I was there.
Next: Residence #3…stay tuned!