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Pro Portfolio: In West Hollywood, a hillside home with an Asian vibe

On Mondays, we post a new home whose design is presented in the architect's or designer's own words. This week:

MARMONTpool Architect: (fer) studio, Inglewood. Chris Mercier, partner, design principal; Douglas Pierson, partner, design principal; Christopher Faulhammer, project manager, designer

Interior Architect/Designer: (fer) studio, with Philip Cummins
Construction Manager: Loriano Ringor and (fer) studio
Structural Engineer:  JN Engineering, Los Angeles

Project location: West Hollywood

Project goal: The goal of this extensive remodel and addition was to capitalize on the spectacular views and thereby maximize the natural light throughout the two-story home. To achieve this, the home was reoriented West, with the sun-soaked master bedroom facing south, overlooking the backyard pool and the Wilshire corridor beyond.

Project Description:  This residence is in the hills above Sunset Boulevard with 180-degree views of Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Brentwood. We undertook an extensive exterior and interior remodel and an addition to an 1,800-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bathroom, two-story 1980s home. The completed residence is 4,500 square feet and includes three bedrooms, 3 1/2 bathrooms, a media room and an office.

The home belongs to Philip Cummins, partner and owner of Innovative Dining Group, which operates Sushi Roku, Boa and other restaurants. Cummins is a frequent traveler to Thailand and Cambodia and was an active collaborator in the project. He desired a look that fused a Southeast Asian expression with a contemporary aesthetic. The approach was to incorporate rich natural materials, indoor-outdoor living and create dedicated areas to display his collection of artifacts. The exterior of the home is enveloped in red mangaris exterior wood cladding; indoor and outdoor spaces flow into one another through retractable doors and full-height glass walls. At the entrance, a glass "jewel box" displays the interior floating staircase. Beyond the custom-made pivoting steel door, the interior is bright, clean and open. 

Keep reading for more photos and details on the house . . .




The house, sited on an oddly shaped hillside lot, was reorganized and refocused to take advantage of the views. The new street-side addition includes two upstairs bedrooms, with large windows, and a 16-foot-tall wrap-around glass window wall, or "jewel box," next to the front door.


At the rear of the house, the indoor and outdoor spaces flow into one another through custom retractable doors and full-height glass walls. The exterior is clad in red mangaris from Indonesian forests managed by sustainable practices. Limestone pavers cover the patio floor. 

The focal point of the living room is the large, smooth Venetian plaster fireplace and granite hearth. Directly behind it is the front door and the glass "jewel box," which floods both floors of the house with light. The door at right leads to the garage.


The floating staircase is made of 100-year-old teak, glass and blackened steel. The wood, from Berber World Imports in Culver City, was reclaimed and milled to fit the structural steel supports that are anchored in the wall.


Off the living room, a 300-year-old monastery door Cummins bought in Southeast Asia slides open to reveal his home office. The door is mounted on clean-lined, stainless-steel track by Barn Door Hardware.


A double-height ceiling cutout and black walnut flooring connect the living area and the kitchen, which features a custom stainless-steel countertop and black slate floor. Cummins ordered the custom tabletop, which was made in China using smooth, cream-colored riverstones set in clear resin.

 MARMONT kitchen2

A slot window was used instead of a traditional backsplash, opening the kitchen to the view of a small side yard. The cabinet fronts were inset with Livinglass, in which Roman Coin leaves were embedded in a resin layer between two sheets of recycled glass. White crackled tile from Ann Sacks.


The master bedroom looks out over the backyard and existing kidney-shaped pool, which was redesigned to incorporate a Jacuzzi and a 3-inch-deep wading pool for "floating" lounge furniture.


The oversized daybed -- actually a canvas-covered futon -- sits tucked into the deeply recessed space, providing an informal spot to hang out and escape the sun.

-- Anne Harnagel

Photo credits: Jim Pease

Comments () | Archives (5)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Christ, how many peons do you have to squish under your iron heel to afford a place like this in California?

This looks like an architect's wet dream, not some place any one would want to live.

Well, I am not at all surprised to see Chris Mercier’s talent, professionalism, thoroughness and commitment to quality succeeding in creating first class living environment, pride and satisfaction for his clients.
More than that, I predict that they all will end up with the privilege of a lifetime of a perfect harmony of quantified value pragmatism combined with the finesse avantgardist mentality of an artist with a foot in the past and the other in the future that we are yet to discover.
He is really that sort of a versatile architect capable to manage complicated and diverse technical tasks while is constantly and naturally taping into a future that to us unreachable and inconceivable at this time.
I would dare to offer a piece of advise for whomever is interested to watch the becoming of a great name that at some point in the near future will reign over a significant territory where the art and beauty merge with practical and environmentally friendly technologies: Keep an eye on his work! Enjoy his evolution.
I was lucky to have the chance to know, work and learn from, at some point in my life from an unique personality Chris Mercier.

The front elevation is a zero, but I love the back and the interiors -- so warm and elegant -- reminds me of a high-end Southeast Asian resort.

Why are these type of homes so cold and sterile?


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