- Project Name
- Mar Vista House Addition and Renovation
- Sharif, Lynch: Architecture
- Project Types
- Single Family
- 2,572 sq. feet
- Year Completed
- Shared by
Mohamed Sharif, Partner in charge
Samantha Hoch, Project team
Katie Chuh, Project team
General Contractor: Refined Development,Structural Engineer: IDG Structural Engineering
- Project Status
FROM THE ARCHITECTS:
CUT / RENOVATE / BUILD The addition to and remodel of the remains of this house amounts to a laconic architecture. Its relative silence and deliberately frank appropriation of and juxtaposition with a vernacular puts stock in subtle, gradual transformation of type as a formal device. It is both archetype and not; both a vernacular and not. It is laconic both in terms of its formal economies and general posture. It chooses not to chatter, or gesture much. After all, any such efforts could only ever be partially glimpsed, through and against its context. It draws from the aesthetic and formal ethos of the New Brutalism as illustrated in the building and thinking of Alison and Peter Smithson; from Venturi and Scott Browns notions of the ‘Ugly and the Ordinary’ and learns from the early works of architects like Frank Gehry.
Project data, program and constraints: R1 Zone/Maximum FAR: 0.5 2572 sf, 4 Bedroom/4 Bathroom single-family house flexibly planned 2-story L-shaped volume grafted to the front half of an existing 1940s one-story bungalow, which itself was remodeled during construction. The house incorporates an attached town-house accommodating both an extended family member and allowing future revised room assignments.
To meet our family’s needs on a lot with an untouchable, grand-fathered, non-conforming garage and all the usual zoning setback constraints, we decided to keep the front half of the house because it was already spatially adequate (with a logical kitchen and living room layout) and sever the rear half as it was both spatially inadequate and disconnected from the rear garden. This cut-and-keep allowed us to focus time and resources on a straightforward 2-story addition to the rear of the lot, which would qualitatively orient our family life toward the garden in a courtyard space.
Keeping the front of the existing house relatively untouched, save for adding 2 skylights, insured that the scale and appearance of the building would not remarkably depart from that of the existing street. Silently peeking above the existing roof line is a simple plane outlining the second floor of the addition beyond. Two upper windows give clues that things behind that wall are a little bit ... different.