Project: Kingsland Residence
Architects: Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects
Location: Los Angeles, United States
Area: 1500 ft²
Photo Credits: Poketo – Ye Rin Mok, Paul Vu, Stephen Schauer
Text by EYRC Architects
Kingsland Residence is unique since it is the family residence of Takashi Yanai and Patti Rhee, both partners at EYRC. Yanai was born in Japan, and raised in California. For many years, he lived in Japan and served as the editor of GA Houses. He is known for his minimal aesthetic which reflects tenets of both Californian and Japanese modernism.
Located in a West Side neighborhood full of ranch houses, Kingsland Residence is an example of how a modest budget renovation can still have a high impact. The overall concept of the design was to bring the outside in. The exterior of the home was painted matte black to neutralize the exteriors of the home, drawing maximum attention to the landscape and gardens designed by Terremoto, as well as the minimal interiors.
A large sliding door pockets away to frame the backyard, blurring the line between indoors and outdoors. Placing the dining table adjacent to this frame creates a stage for the most important moments of the day: eating with family. The exterior spaces have Japanese nuances but are entirely Californian, becoming a focal point when experiencing the house from inside and out.
The design stripped away any unnecessary elements like recessed lighting. The construction uses simple, humble materials including marine-grade plywood. The Donald Judd-inspired kitchen is another focal point of the house, masking certain elements like the fridge and instead accentuating objects and art that are sentimental to the family.
The art pieces inside the residence are a combination of art by clients, including a light-bar by Johannes Girardoni with whom EYRC designed the Spectral Bridge Residence. Additional pieces by notable artists like Hiroshi Sugimoto and Daido Moriyama, who serve as inspiration for Takashi especially, are featured throughout the home. Books are a huge part of the family’s life therefore the custom casework that runs the length of the living room is a focal point of the living space. Of course, Yanai and Rhee consider this to be a continuous “work in progress” as design is never done when you are your own client!