As the residents of Doheny Estates will tell you, the views afforded by this neighborhood are those 'only shared by jetliners.' This fact alone would make the Marcheeta Place a coveted residence, but in addition to its prized location, the home also found itself destined for the last lot permitting a two-story build. Alas, this project never made it out of the design phase.
A 236-foot-long Bar
For Marcheeta Place, we took a subdued approach to its distinguished surroundings. Designed as a 236-foot long by 36-foot wide bar extracted from a 20-foot grid, it was to sit on a double lot abutting a 100-foot mountain hillside that rises from the site. The structure resembles a “floating” wood and glass box (the second story), which sits atop a concrete and glass plinth (the ground floor). The design, in many ways, is an oversized wood sun porch - partly influenced by the sun porches of traditional homes, but more largely drawing inspiration from Japanese engawas1. Similarly, the base of the home pulls from the Japanese tradition of wagoya2, in our expression snap ties that join the concrete slabs are exposed. If we were to characterize this vernacular in more simplistic terms, it is akin to a Craftsman home expressed as a module.
Nature vs. City
As with its materiality, the plan of the home follows the same spirit embodied in traditional Japanese architecture. A strong emphasis is placed on the inhabitants’ relationship with nature and there are minimal transitions between the indoors and the exterior. This effect is amplified by sliding wood and glass doors and windows, and each room is afforded its own 10-foot by 20-foot porch. The master bedroom’s veranda is extended another 40 feet.
Although Doheny Estates is lauded for its unobstructed views of the Los Angeles Basin, we envisioned the inhabitants of the home enveloped in the duality of the City of Los Angeles, where the urban and primeval blend and contrast. The back of the home maintains the primary circulation, a walkway that spans the entire length of the home. In theory, depending on which side of the home you are on, you will either experience just the city or just the natural world.