Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, California
When we expanded this "mid century" post and beam house, we researched the best examples of the style for characteristics and authentic materials to lift the old house from the mundane to the sublime. Economy, convenience, privacy and horizontal style were highly-valued after WWII, along with new materials; aluminum, plywood, glass and cork. We applied these to our new "start of the century" split-level addition while making dynamic use of the sloping site, capturing a level inner courtyard where a wild, steep sloped had once been.
The result is all in the details, with stepped concrete block walls at the garage, locally made aluminum windows to replicate the original details, with operable clerestory windows to capture canyon breezes. Inside, tongue and groove ceilings, a cork floor and cherry cabinetry pay homage to the original house. And in a seldom-seen nod to the Japanese roots of this home, the roof plan resembles unfolded origami, with subtle roof planes directing rain into interior downspouts.
Photography: William MacCollum