Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles
Design and Architecture:
Douglas Pierson, (as Partner with (fer) studio, LLP)
Chris Faulhammer, Project Architect
Mechanical/Plumbing Design/Build: Cornerstone
Construction Manager: (fer) studio, LLP
Renderings and models: (fer) studio, LLP
Photography: Jim Pease Photography
The project involved an extensive exterior and interior remodeling and an addition to an 1800-square-foot, two-story, two-bedroom, two-bath house built in the 1980s. The “new” house would have 4500 square feet, three bedrooms – including an elegant master suite -- three and a half baths, a media room, and an office.
This West Hollywood residence is located in the hills above Sunset Boulevard with 180-degree views of Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Brentwood below. We wanted to capitalize on the spectacular views and, in doing so, maximize natural light throughout the house.
To achieve this goal, we reoriented the house towards the west with the sun-soaked master bedroom facing south, overlooking the pool area in back and the Wilshire corridor beyond.
The owners, frequent travelers to South East Asia, wanted their “new” house to fuse Asian expression with a modern aesthetic. To achieve that goal, we specified rich, natural materials inside and out, redesigned the space to emphasize indoor-outdoor living, and created dedicated areas for displaying the owners’ vast collection of artifacts.
To embrace traditional Japanese architecture’s reliance on wood as a building material, we wrapped the exterior in red mangaris cladding, a beautiful, richly colored wood produced from a genuine Red Balau species. Characterized by extreme hardness, the wood has a clear grade, and a tight, interlocked grain. Deep red in color with traces of delicate brown ribbon stripes, mangaris red is as visually rich as mahogany.
We added outdoor living and dining “rooms” and redesigned the house’s floor plan so that indoor and outdoor spaces flow seamlessly into each other through retractable doors and full-height glass walls. The owners’ artifacts are peppered here and throughout the house in display nooks, on axis, and as focal points.
The backyard, blanketed with healthy green vegetation, features a glass mosaic-tiled pool and an oversized platform daybed tucked under the upper story that connects the pool area with the outdoor living and dining rooms. The existing kidney-shaped pool, now shallower, accommodates a Jacuzzi and a three-inch-deep wading pool for lounge furniture.
The intimate outdoor living room is on the western side of the house where we added a built-in sofa, twin fire pits, and white travertine pavers. The pavers lead the way to the outdoor dining room, the owners’ primary dining area.
At the entrance to the house, we added a 14-foot full-height glass “jewel box” to allow a view of the new “floating staircase” inside. The staircase is made from 100-year-old reclaimed teak, glass, and blackened steel.
Beyond the pivoting, bonded-steel door from Forms + Surfaces at the main entrance, the interior is bright and open with crisp, clean lines.
The entrance area leads into the main living room, the focal point of which is a large, smooth, Venetian plaster fireplace with granite mantle. A double-height-ceiling cut-out and black walnut flooring connects the living area to the chef’s kitchen. (A “chef’s kitchen” requires more space than a typical kitchen, a well-planned traffic flow, and a variety of workstations.) The kitchen features custom-made stainless steel countertops and cabinetry with Roman coin leaves cut into glass. The sleek, low-slung kitchen window above the sink frames a beautiful view of the garden. Of particular note in the kitchen are the white tile from Ann Saks Tile & Stone and a custom-made, pebble-embedded dining table set against slate pavers.
Off the main living room, a 300-year-old monastery door from South East Asia slides open to reveal an office. In the ground-floor powder room nearby, which leads to a bathroom and linen closet, a long stainless steel wall-mounted fixture emphasizes a single antique Asian table with a granite basin.
The three bedrooms -- a master suite, a guest room, and child’s room -- are located on the second level, along with two and a half baths. The windowed master bedroom includes a linear gas fireplace with a granite mantle that complements the 100-percent silk carpeting that, in turn, mirrors the marbling of the granite. The luxurious master bath is completely inset in jade, from the floors all the way to the tub. Next door, the child’s bathroom features a neo-metro apple-green resin sink.
Rich, natural materials, orientation to the sun and the way natural light fills the house, the smooth, open flow among all spaces, indoors and outdoors, and the captivating artifacts combine to create the modern Asian ambience the homeowners requested.