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Wurtele Residence Renovation

Los Angeles, California. Completed in 2016.

Located in the Crestwood Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, this 1,250 square foot house was designed by A Quincy Jones, built in 1950, and granted Historic-Cultural Monument status by the City of Los Angeles in 2002. A previous addition created a master bedroom suite downstairs, but the owners still had to figure out how their three children would share the two bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs in the original modestly-scaled house, and where all their stuff would go. The clients also love to entertain and wanted to open up the kitchen and dining areas while still retaining the small but efficient triangular kitchen that is a distinctive feature of the A Quincy Jones Model 111X house.

One bedroom was bisected by a wide pocket door that allows the room tobe divided when needed and a central closet area was added that is accessed by all three bedrooms. Painted wood tripartite beams and cruciform columns define the spaces and seamlessly match the existing structural system of the house. By using hand-picked marine ply panels that match the 50’s plywood, adding a Douglas Fir built-in desk area, and adding sliding glass windows that echo the clerestory windows in the house, we created a warm cozy room that canbe opened up or closed down depending on the needs of the family.

The bathrooms were completely stripped down and rebuilt, creating a dramatic shower under the unique inverted clerestory window and continuing the exterior redwood planks inside, which canbe seen through the upper windows. Different colors of pale blue ceramic tile were used on the walls, ceiling, and floor to heighten the dramatic geometry of the rooms. More storage was carved out in previously unused areas of the bathrooms and hallway.

The kitchen was rebuilt using Carrara marble countertops, deep blue wall tiles, and walnut plywood with stained edges that match the concrete floors. The cabinets and counter were extended to create a coffee bar in between the dining area and the kitchen accessible from 3 rooms (coffee was VERY important to one of our clients!) A reclaimed redwood plank bench with storage below matches the existing redwood plank walls and continues from the dining room outside into the patio, with the blue tile wall following. The existing large sliding glass doors were repaired and cleaned, and when open the interior and exterior spaces flow together, with the indoor/ outdoor dining bench eventually becoming a planter that marks the patio entrance.

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