Residence Mar Vista is a thoughtful, modern restyling by TGA (Tim Gorter, Architect) of an unassuming house that has improved its architectural clout and resolved the limitations of the original design. The redesign maintains the existing structure but expands its interior spaces and allows more natural light to enter.
The most obvious sign of this transformation and update is the roof, which has made it possible to install additional windows and a skylight without increasing the height of the building. This simple change has made the house much brighter and given the owners an extraordinary view of the famous “Hollywood” sign on Mount Lee, which was previously blocked from view.
The restyling also included the addition of a glass and steel extension on what was a small and underused lawn. Incorporating an office, bedroom, two bathrooms, and a laundry, this volume is intended for a variety of uses. TGA’s project also included a terraced rock garden inspired by a karesansui, a traditional Japanese garden designed to be contemplated from a single point of view.
The interiors blend rational mid-century modernism with warm finishes, such as maple furniture and doors. A selection of mid-century furniture complements the client’s collection of antique radios.
The architects faced their biggest challenge when designing the interior spaces. The existing fireplace threatened the success of the project since it couldn’t be relocated under the local building code, which prohibits new open wood fireplaces in residential projects.
To remedy this, TGA reinvented the fireplace as an independent sculptural element that defines the edge of the living area. A nod to the interior design style of architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, the fireplace organizes movement around itself, defining the lounge, corridor, and kitchen as separate zones.
Architect: TGA (Tim Gorter, Architect)
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Photography by © Andy Wang – W Architectural Photography
courtesy of TGA (Tim Gorter, Architect)