atelier V Modern in Beverly Wood

Westwood, California

atelier V completes the design of Duxbury Residence in Beverly Wood, California. Sustainable Total Architecture in the heart of Los Angeles.

atelier V: architecture (www.atelierv.com) has  completed the design of Duxbury Residence. A 9,000 sf , 2-story + basement single family home nestled in a quiet tree-lined street in the wonderful community of Beverly Wood in the heart of Los Angeles.  The new house will replace an existing single story 1950′s structure.  The Owners are a couple from New York who moved to the community many years ago and subsequently moved to a bigger home in Beverly Hills.  As proud grandparents, recently they made a decision to move back to the Beverly Wood community to be closer to their daughters and their grandchildren.  “The client wanted a modern home while satisfying their need for big family gatherings during the  holidays and room for grandchildren to play and feel at home”  says Mark Vaghei, AIA, atelier V’s Principal.  Given the Los Angeles Mansionization Ordinance in effect, the area of the home could not exceed a maximum 45% of the lot area.  One way to increase the available usable area to the client was to introduce a full basement floor. Additionally, the mansionization Ordinance allowed a maximum height of 33 feet with a 25% sloped roof which further narrowed down the alternative envelope of the house.  “We approached the program very logically by introducing a tripartite plan parti, effectively separating the home into 3 different zones, with the entry/gallery space in the middle housing all vertical circulation, the public zone,  and the private zones on each side” says , Mark Vaghei.  The second floor of the house is similarly divided into a master suite and other bedrooms connected via a bridge through the middle double height gallery space.  An elevator serves both the first and second floors as well as the basement, providing easy access from the garage at the basement level to the kitchen and the bedrooms.  The middle zone in the plan extends outside both on the entry/street side as well as the back yard and manifests itself in the ground plan in the form of water.  Pool on the one side,  and a cascading water feature on the other pulling your eye in both directions through the light-filled glass- enclosed galley space.  Additionally, the gallery opens down to the basement partially to let natural light penetrate deep into the basement floor making that floor an integral part of the house.

The roof is what really distinguishes this home from any other home in the neighborhood and for that matter the entire LA area.  The metal clad roofs are gently undulating waves in opposite direction on the two outer volumes of the structure flanking the skylit gallery in the middle.  The roofs will be covered with solar tiles essentially freeing the structure from the need for conventional energy sources.  Operable skylights in the middle gallery space will vent warm air from throughout the house and glass exposure to the south and south-west provide for maximum passive solar energy. 

The hardscape/landscape is divided into zones of activity.  Flat grass areas around the pool for the grandchildren to play, outdoor living room with a fireplace off the kitchen for informal gatherings, a hardscaped area flanking the pool for lounging , barbequing and larger gatherings.  On the front yard side, the elevation difference between the entry and the sidewalk is mitigated through a series of “landscaped Shelves” transitioning down to the sidewalk and flanking the cascaded water feature.  The side yards are reserved for the Client’s favorite trees effectively providing barrier for privacy.  “The result is really what we call Total Architecture, a type of structure which is in total harmony with its ground plane/site and grows out of it and not merely planted on it” Says Mark Vaghei, AIA

Duxbury Residence will go through the Beverly Wood Association for final approvals and is planned for construction sometimes in 2012.  For more information on this project including plans and models and other work by atelier V please go to : www.atelierv.com to Projects to Residential to Duxbury Residence.

Credits: Elise McCurley (3D artist), atelier V