A Los Angeles Residence Celebrating Art and Nature

A Los Angeles Residence Celebrating Art and Nature
The pool features a Heath Ceramics tile border and massangis grey limestone coping and pavers that mirror the interior flooring.

Project: Los Angeles Residence
Architects: Conner + Perry Architects
Interior Designers: Olivia Williams, Olivia Williams Interior Design and Matthew Merrell, Merrell Design Co.
Builder: Michael Robinson, RAM Development and Construction Company, Inc. and Dick Minium, Dick Minium Construction
Landscape Architecture: Case Fleher, Landscape Workspace
Location: Los Angeles, United States
Photography: Taiyo Watanabe

Organic architecture experts Kristopher Conner and James Perry of Conner + Perry Architects were commissioned by a deeply-rooted Los Angeles couple to design a home that seamlessly fits their family and lifestyle, while also showcasing a world-class art collection and effortlessly blending into a beloved section of Santa Monica Canyon.

A Los Angeles Residence Celebrating Art and Nature
Landscape designer, Case Fleher, introduced lush plantings that reflect the vibe of the canyon, blending native species along with impressive specimens found on the original site, such as the Chamaerops seen on the right side of the picture.

Taking cues from the property’s surrounding Oak and Eucalyptus trees, the firm designed a residence that allows for reflection, openness, and serenity. Key design features include windows that frame the magnificent trees, extended canopy-like, cantilevered eaves, and fully pocketing glass exterior walls that open to a central courtyard to offer the perfect balance of indoor-outdoor living. Every view in the Los Angeles Residence was designed to captivate with either nature or art. Initial plans by John Lautner protégé, architect Duncan Nicholson, set the stage for Kris and James, formerly with Nicholson’s office, to complete and enhance the project, despite his untimely passing.

A Los Angeles Residence Celebrating Art and Nature
Featuring a large Gus Van Sant watercolor, this central space, with fully pocketing glass and aluminum sliding doors, opens directly to the pool courtyard.

The property was formerly home to a modest California 1940’s era cabin situated on a wooded lot that began as a test station for the Forestry Service during their Eucalyptus tree testing in the 1910-20s. It was important for the clients to honor this history and salvage as much of the original house as possible. Given their love for the neighborhood and its majestic trees, they repurposed felled Eucalyptus wood found on the property into outdoor furniture and key elements within the house, including the grand entry doors. In keeping, exterior materials for the new home were selected for their organic nature, ability to age in place, and compatibility with the climate, such as charred wood siding (Shou Sugi Ban), copper, exposed steel, and concrete. Interior materials were chosen to reflect the nature outside, including a mix of massangis grey limestone and french oak for the flooring, weathered brass, blackened steel elements, and a variety of marbles and tiles, including art tiles by Lubna Chowdhary.

A Los Angeles Residence Celebrating Art and Nature
Fully pocketing glass doors on either side of the kitchen and dining room allow the home to be fully open to the landscape.

For the clients, who both grew up in the neighborhood, the chance to collaborate on the design process and build a space for their impressive art collection was a dream. For Conner + Perry, the home represents exactly what the clients were seeking — a quintessential California indoor/outdoor experience where everything feels open and unified.

dining room, Conner + Perry Architects
Interior designers Olivia Williams and Matt Merrell brought a keen eye to the interiors. The open kitchen/dining offers various luxurious features, including a separate scullery kitchen and pantry behind the custom wood paneled casework partition; Calcutta gold marble countertops, island, and backsplash; custom weathered brass range hood and cabinet pull detail; and a 13 foot long marble island with integrated stone sink and weathered brass base. A Murano glass chandelier above the dining table created the inspiration for the design palette.

“Each of them has described the house as having a magical or mystical quality, allowing light in at the right moments, as well as the shadows of the trees, and a calming mirroring effect,” says principal, Kristopher Conner.

plan

library, Conner + Perry Architects
Conner + Perry carved the library/media room out of the central space by introducing a free-standing wood tv console and art wall, which allows for intimacy while maintaining a sense of openness.

home office, Conner + Perry Architects
The home office offers direct access to the atrium garden, connecting to the library/media room beyond. Custom, built-in rift oak and blackened steel casework showcases the husband’s extensive vinyl music collection, high performance audio equipment, and a variety of personal affects, objects, and art.

staircase, Conner + Perry Architects
In the home’s generous entryway, glass and steel frame and support the floating French Oak stairway. Views continue unobstructed through the entire space out to the canyon beyond.

A Los Angeles Residence Celebrating Art and Nature
Upstairs, the continuous ribbon of sliding windows (left) overlooks the central pool courtyard, while the expansive double height glazing (right) provides an intimate spatial relationship to the oaks in the atrium garden.

bedroom, Conner + Perry Architects
In the master bedroom, with its rift oak custom wood paneled storage and vintage furnishings, fully sliding glass doors extend the room out to the deck for sweeping views of the canyon and ocean.

A Los Angeles Residence Celebrating Art and Nature
The “Perch,” with a custom Eucalyptus built-in daybed tucked between bedrooms, allows for a unique and quiet spot perfect for meditation, lounging, and gazing into the trees.

kids room, Conner + Perry Architects
In the nursery, the custom wallpaper mural and frameless corner window overlooking the atrium garden reinforces the feeling of living amongst the trees.

bathroom, Conner + Perry Architects
The home’s expansive master bathroom features His and Hers commodes, Calcutta marble heated floors, central steam shower, spa tub, countertops and splash, wall-to-wall mirrors, and pocketing sliding doors to the deck.

A Los Angeles Residence Celebrating Art and Nature
A sunken living room off of the open dining space opens to the back patio and garden. The painting “Granddaughter” by Charlie White can be seen above the eucalyptus fireplace.

A Los Angeles Residence Celebrating Art and Nature
At night the rear of the Los Angeles Residence, perched on the edge of the canyon, glows through the canopy of trees, giving the effortless impression that it has always been there.

A Los Angeles Residence Celebrating Art and Nature
Using reclaimed Eucalyptus from felled trees on the property and vintage hardware provided from the clients’ personal collection, Conner + Perry created a stunning custom, double pivot door as the gateway to the light-filled residence.

A Los Angeles Residence Celebrating Art and Nature
At the front of the Los Angeles Residence, one is greeted by the California live oak and Eucalyptus trees that define the local landscape and keep in proportion with the generous home, while the airplane hangar style garage door, finished with charred siding, “disappears” when closed.

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