A Los Angeles Residence Celebrating Art and Nature

A Los Angeles Residence Celebrating Art and Nature

Curated by Aline Chahine | 
May 25, 2020
| Est. Reading: 5 minutes
Project Details:
Address: Santa Monica, Los Angeles
Year: N/A
Area: N/A

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
At the front of the home, 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. Photo © Taiyo Watanabe

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 house 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
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. Photo © Taiyo Watanabe

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.

A Los Angeles Residence Celebrating Art and Nature
This exterior vantage point highlights the view through to the atrium garden, the outdoor shower and cabana powder room, and the relationship of the house to the grand eucalyptus trees beyond. A material palette of shou sugi ban siding with copper accents will age gracefully in place slowly becoming one with the environment. Photo © Taiyo Watanabe

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
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. Photo © Taiyo Watanabe

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. 

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.

Architects: Conner and James Perry, 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

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