LocationCalabasas, United States
Architect in ChargeStephen Phillips
Project TeamCameron Helland, Richard Porter, Stephen Becker, Katsu Shigemi, Danny Thai, Tyler Armstrong
Text description provided by the architects. Giving a facelift to an otherwise aged 1960s Malibu Canyon track home, Stephen Phillips Architects (SPARCHS) creates a sparkling contemporary gem.
Located all too near the notorious Piuma Canyon Brush fires, executive television producer Ted Gold and his wife Cara Hall, a graphic designer, took on the challenge to purchase an all wood-sided shed-roof modern home and transform it into something original and beautiful.
Working with a minimal budget one step at a time, they hired local California architect Phillips to make a series of strategic surgical design procedures to update, rejuvenate, and fortify their painfully drab house with elegance and style.
As the original home had no front entry (it was originally accessed alongside the garage off the side-yard driveway) Phillips most notably created a two-story wrap-around balcony and deck that directed arriving guests to the front of the house. A dramatic new entry hall to the upper living level was added featuring a floating steel staircase with glass and stainless-steel guardrails alongside solid-white oak-wood treads.
On the interior, the kitchen was completely renovated opening up towards the family room, dining room, breakfast nook, and entry hall. The baths, bedrooms, and living spaces were all reconstructed with new carpeting, tile, fixtures, and paint. Hall lent her design sensibility to provocatively update all the interior rooms.
Phillips’s angular-roof entry becomes the central organizational figure within the overall design. It brings visitors up from the garden to the living area, and uses glass extensively, shaded under a series of shifted and folded roof and wall planes that extend out to the canyon while framing distant mountain views. The new entry creates a dynamic yet relaxing contemporary space that reconfigures an otherwise rambling wooden shack with unclear floor plan into a strong well-organized contemporary dwelling. The family room, kitchen, and main hall all overlook the entry stair that provides views clear out to the mountains and easy access to the yard below.
Fortifying the exterior the architect proposed a combination of cement board and metal panels alongside exterior cement plaster (stucco) wall surfaces to ensure a flame-resistant contemporary new look. The cement board panels serve as a light backdrop to a stunning use of dark metal seam roofing material that folds down, wraps up and around the roof, walls, and balcony. Carefully composed to highlight or diminish existing apertures and disparate housing forms, Phillips created a continuous well-composed design that compliments the pitched roof areas at the front and back of the existing canyon home.
What was formally a lackluster wood developer track house becomes a sparkling jewel through only a few carefully designed elements that add bold dynamism alongside much needed value and protection to this unique and contemporary Malibu Canyon home.
Built in a high-fire zone adjacent to the significant Malibu Fire of 2007, the architect fortified the exterior surfaces with a combination of cement board and metal panels alongside exterior cement plaster (stucco) to ensure a 1-hr flame-resistant contemporary new look. The cement board panels serve as a light backdrop to a stunning use of dark metal seam roofing which folds down, wraps up and around the roof, walls, and balcony.