Situated on a sloping hillside with ocean views in a typical residential neighborhood, this project in Los Angeles by Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects was an extensive renovation of an uninspired house that failed to take advantage of the obvious assets of the property: the views. Although no square footage was added, the interior spaces were completely reorganized, taking down interior walls and reorienting living spaces to open up to the incredible views of the Pacific Ocean. Living, dining, study and kitchen were combined into one common space that is framed by a 9’6” high and 40’ wide opening that pockets away completely, revealing uninterrupted views of the ocean. The master bedroom was also redesigned as a single set of flowing spaces. Bedroom, bath and closet have no doors separating them and, of course, are open to the ocean view. The simple material palette of concrete floors, stucco exterior, Rhinezink panels and walnut cabinets was another strategy to keep the architecture focused on the site and place.
The entry sequence was designed to create privacy from the street: a mature olive tree sits in the entry courtyard behind a board-formed concrete wall, providing glimpses of the Ocean beyond while entering the house. The owner is a single professional with grown children. She volunteers her services at a clinic operating out of Loyola Law School that works to seek justice for those that are wrongly incarcerated. The house is meant to create a sense of respite from her volunteer work. Now that she has moved in, the house is a constant center of activity, where she enjoys hosting her family and friends.
Images © Chang Kim