Del Rey Pueblo

Los Angeles, CA

Architecture, Construction, Landscape

Completed 2023

Photos: Eric Staudenmaier, Reid Cigolle (process photos)

Despite the aspirational images of Los Angeles’ most celebrated houses - expanses of glass hiding up winding canyons and overlooking twinkling city lights - the average LA home occupies a four-sided plot of land lost within a seemingly endless metropolis.

This house for a young family sits at an edge between Los Angeles’ commercial boulevards and residential neighborhoods.  The site was selected for its potential as a slightly oversized lot with alley access, but required an architectural solution that would interface domestic needs against the urban bustle.

The house and ADU formally reflect their commercial surroundings, and are sited to shield the living spaces and backyard.  The public spaces of the house mimic the exterior green walls, creating a sense of exteriority while insulated indoors.  In contrast, the four bedrooms; each a calm and concealed white box, project a sense of snug interiority.

Downstairs, the kitchen, dining and living spaces orient toward the unexpectedly contained and tranquil garden.  Flanking the entry, two bedrooms offer flexible living arrangements.  Each is provided with a bathroom between a pair of sliding doors, allowing them to function as ensuite bedrooms or as a den, office or playroom with a detached powder room, depending on how the doors are arranged.  

Up the steel staircase is the child’s bedroom and the primary suite.  The upper level takes advantage of the zoning code with three private decks hidden behind overhead walls.  These uncovered outdoor rooms do not count toward the allowable square footage, and are used to screen large bedroom windows.

The alley is utilized to maximize outdoor space in the front and back yards by eliminating the need for a driveway.  Above the garage, the ADU is conceived as an extension of the boulevard; a live/work studio space with a private entrance and parking spot off of the alley.