tower house - los angeles, ca
site photo 0914
construction detail image
Set in a westside neighborhood of Los Angeles, the community was built post World War II by Howard Hughes to house the engineers working in his adjacent aerospace facilities. The modest nature of the houses with large yards and cool ocean breezes make the suburban vision still resonate today. The interiority of the houses and the extreme spatial limitations of the two bedroom one bathroom house required the owners to expand.  With an extremely limited budget of less than $75,000, they wanted to add a bedroom, one and a half bathrooms and family room. The budget required a preservation of everything the house currently was, but this was to be married with the desire to dissolve the boundaries between outside and inside and modernize the house [visually and performatively] to embrace the Southern California lifestyle. The desire to expand and integrate, preserve and update required a surgical approach to the house. Bracketing the house in book-ending standing seam metal towers, the elevating snorkels allowed for double height spaces, light and ventilation to penetrate throughout the house and carry through the body of new and old a consistent vocabulary. A central courtyard with layered enfilade operable glass walls allows the edges of the house to dissolve and open. 5 discrete spaces can become one long space that runs from the front all the way through to the back moving from out to in to out to in to out.