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Light and the shadows of the trees

Nestled into a canyon, this home seamlessly fits into its wooded locale while serving as a backdrop for a world-class art collection

Designed by Conner + Perry Architects

From the architects:

Organic architecture experts Kristopher Conner and James Perry of Conner + Perry Architects were commissioned by a proudly Los Angeles couple to design a home that seamlessly fits their family and lifestyle.

At the same time, the home was to showcasing a world-class art collection and effortlessly blend into a beloved section of Santa Monica Canyon.

Taking cues from the property’s surrounding oak and eucalyptus trees, the architects designed a home 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 Connor and Perry, formerly with Nicholson’s office, to complete and enhance the project, despite his untimely passing.


Given their love for the neighbourhood and its majestic trees, the owners sought to repurpose the felled eucalyptus wood found on the property into outdoor furniture and key elements within the house, including the grand entry doors.

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.

For the homeowners, who both grew up in the neighbourhood, 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 owners 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.

Credit list

Landscape designer
Case Fleher
Interior designer
Olivia Williams and Matt Merrell, Merrell-Williams Design

Designed by: Conner + Perry Architects

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Taiyo Watanabe

12 Jul, 2021

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