On a clear day extensive views to city and ocean by Landry Design Group

Extensive views to city and ocean by Landry Design Group
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View of grand entrance way

When building a home with a particularly standout vista, it is common practice to utilise a design that captures the best of the view. Less common is the situation where there are two compelling outlooks to accommodate.

Yet this was the conundrum facing the team at Landry Design Group when designing the featured property, says associate in charge of the project, Marc Welch.

"To the north of the site lies the city of Los Angeles, while to the south the view takes in Catalina Island and the Pacific Ocean. During the day, the ocean view is predominant, while at night, the city view truly comes to life. This dichotomy, along with the mandate that the house be only one storey, were the prime factors in the organisation of the residence."

Dictates from the Homeowners' Association meant the house had to be single level, with an exterior cladding in shingle or wood, mainly white in colour, and in a Ranch style.

"Taking all these requirements into account, the result is a narrow house that is organised in a linear fashion so that every room has a view," says Welch. "The type of view has been dictated by the principal use of each room."

Rooms oriented toward the ocean view are those mostly used during the day, while areas used for entertaining guests have views of the cityscape. Further layout considerations included where the sun rises and sets thus the breakfast room faces east and the dining room faces west.

"We spent a lot of time working out the right flow of spaces, including creating a chalk outline of the house on the site and then standing in the rooms to make sure everything was exactly right," says Welch.

The layout of the house is characterised by a full-length gallery space that runs along its spine, which provides access to each of the rooms, the architect says.


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Outdoor living area features pergola & furniture

"Walking from space to space along the main gallery, you really experience the home's transparency, as the extensive glazing places the view front and centre."

Much of the site has a steep gradient, yet there was enough of a building platform along the ridgeline to allow the expansive house to sit comfortably within the topography.

Materials too reflect the local area, with the redwood cladding being augmented by sandstone from the southern California region.

"Along with the homeowner, we worked extensively with masons to select flagstones and stone for the exterior," says Welch.

The same level of attention to detail was paid to the materials chosen for the interior of the home, with a mix of wood, stone flooring and carpet used throughout.

"Decisions were made according to whether the materials extended the architectural style of the house, keeping in mind that they needed to be suitable for formal and informal settings alike," says Welch.

"The wood floor is a good example. In the formal living and dining rooms, we've used a parquet-style treatment, while in the kitchen and informal living areas the flooring is in a traditional plank style."

Similarly, the ceiling treatments vary in accordance to the style of room.

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View of pond & gardens

"It's one of the beauties of a single-storey house that you can use the roof volume to create dramatic ceiling spaces," says Welch.

"In the living room we opted for the more formal and intimate treatment of a tray ceiling with detailed moulding. A vaulted ceiling treatment with exposed beams features in the kitchen, emphasising the space and creating a relaxed, slightly rustic atmosphere that is more in keeping with an informal area."

Further delineation is indicated by the change in material palette from the public spaces to the private spaces. The master suite, for example, has stone floors, in a continuation of the gallery space that leads into the separate bathing room.

"This room was the brainchild of the owner," says Welch. "A separate room containing just the bathtub and shower is not something you would usually find, but I feel it's one of the more successful spaces in the home. It really reinforces the idea of intimacy."

"Another of the successful elements is the pond, which typifies the level of craftsmanship that has gone into the house.

"Like much of the design, the pond works on a number of levels: visually, as a landscape device and as a reflection pool; aurally, through the brook that feeds it; and sustainably, as it moderates the impact on the environment, reducing the reliance upon mechanical heating and cooling."

Oct 28, 2011

Credit list

Interior designer
Beth Spivak,
Kitchen manufacturer and cabinetry
Structural engineer
KNA Engineering
Roofing
Custom slate
Home theatre/audio
Designed by Roberts Audio; Crestron; Runco
Splashback
Tiles from Waterworks
Vanity cabinetry
Painted walnut by Eurotech Cabinets
Kitchen designer
Landry Design Group; Downsview Kitchens
Builder
Tyler Development Corporation
Cladding
Custom painted redwood by RW Shattuck & Co, Inc
Wallcoverings and paints
Chris Ryan Painting & Wallcoverings
Benchtops
Black absolute granite from Rubin Marble & Granite
Bathtub
Kallista
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