Typical 1950’s California residence completely redesigned by Rachlin Partners. It’s located in Los Angeles, United States.
Transformation of the Sawyer House began with gutting the entire interior of the 2,000-square-foot structure in two phases over a twenty-year period. A typical 1950’s California residence, the house lacked a definable style and was in poor condition due in part to damage from the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Outdated avocado-colored kitchen appliances finalized the decision to modify this quintessential California house. Only the foundation, exterior bearing walls and roof structure were retained.
The Sawyer House has a magnificent park-like setting on a quiet cul-de-sac adjacent to a golf course, on a heavily wooded site. Although close to an urban environment, the house offers a sense of seclusion and space beyond the confines of its site. Both exterior and interior spaces have been organized to take full advantage of sweeping panoramic views and the extraordinary sense of space. Exterior areas include a front patio, side deck with fire pit, pool and spa and a raised deck/exterior lounge area.
Michael Rachlin’s approach to redesign of the structure blurs the line between traditional and modern, reinterpreting the archetypal vernacular using a minimalist language. Due to its relative small footprint, the house appears to be a modern-day cottage delineated by the geometric forms of hipped or gabled roofs with a series of cupolas added to the mix for visual interest.
At the south-facing front of the house, two freestanding peaked clapboard walls create the major formal gesture. The smaller wall defines a new entrance, while the larger wall delineates a semi-private front patio, which acts as an extension of the entrance hall and living room. Playing off the lines of the existing gabled roof, the architects created additional gable and hipped roof structures, as well as peaked interior spaces—establishing a motif for the entire the house. Both the living room and the master suite are airy, high-volume spaces filled with light and a feeling of calm, due in part to the skylight that runs the length of the upstairs ridge.