ArchitectsCHA:COL / Chinmaya+Apurva Collaborative
LocationWestwood, United States
Text description provided by the architects. The client required us to extensively redesign her recent acquisition of a 2500 sqf residence in Westwood after her retirement. Situated on a sprawling lot, the existing structure was compartmentalized excessively with little natural light reaching the interior. The client also intended to be the sole occupant of this dwelling and required fluidity and openness within the space. The design proposal involved extensive redesign but avoided adding any square footage to the existing footprint.
Instead the scheme exploited volumes created by the generous pitched roof structure that was earlier concealed by existing drop ceilings. A ‘CeilingScape' was therefore proposed and treated as the equivalent of groundscape, taking cues from cathedral structures. This upper datum then threaded all orphaned spaces into more generous zones and also compactly carried all utilities. Trusses were shop-fabricated and installed within this roof structure for lateral reinforcement and for defining this newly opened volume.
Programmatically, the dwelling was divided into specific zones and each was prioritized in order of privacy. The interior was gutted in it's entirety and new openings were created to connect these zones to the outdoor. Each zone was specifically connected to a corresponding outer space since usage patterns were different within each. This strategy allowed a more optimal connectivity with what would have otherwise amounted to disjointed outdoor spaces.
Custom details were designed for millwork, concealed gutters and low-maintainance cladding systems. The retrofitted double-glazed windows utilized integral frames that were prefabricated and transported from the shop to site for reducing labor costs and construction error.
The house apparently once belonged to Bugsy Siegel's mistress, and the dwelling inhabits a scape intrinsically Los Angeles.