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Pro Portfolio: A contemporary compound in Calabasas

July 26, 2010 |  8:02 am

Lima Ext Front at dusk Bartsch 

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

Architects: Abramson Teiger, Culver City. Landscape design: Monika Valtchev Landscape Design, Thousand Oaks, (805) 446-1135. Contractor: AJ Engineering & Construction, Tarzana, (818) 343-5787.

Location: Calabasas.

Architects' goal: to realize our dream of a modern house with a unique design, simple lines, very minimalistic.

Description: This house sits at the edge of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The compound consists of a guest house and, separated by a courtyard, the main house, with four bedrooms and 4 1/2 baths. The roof was conceived as a series of planes, clad in factory-painted charcoal gray metal. At some points, the metal roof either folds up or down to become the walls. Rectangular in form, the house has one long side with large glass doors and windows to take advantage of the spectacular view. The living-dining space is loft-like, with 14-foot-high ceilings and clerestory windows. The kitchen and dining area are on the same axis, perpendicular to the main space. They face the view and open to the exterior with sliding doors. The wood-grained, resin-panel  “box,” which actually is a storeroom, truncates the visual axis as you approach the front door, and is an integral part of the enclosure that makes up the outdoor patio.  The box continues into the kitchen, where the warm hue complements the palette of natural materials.

Keep reading for more photos and details ...

Lima Ext Front Big Bartsch

Photo: The dramatic seamed and lapped metal roof unfolds over the house in a series of planes. Large windows, sliding glass doors, glass walls and patios were used to establish a strong connection with the outdoors. Smooth Mexican-style beach pebbles were used for the walkway that wraps around the exterior.

Lima Ext Entry detail Bartsch

Photo: Fixed clerestory windows create the illusion that the roof is floating over the house. The front door was made with an opaque film, laminated between two pieces of glass. The "box" at right is clad with a wood-grain resin, made by Trespa, that can be used indoors and out.

Lima Ext Entry detail 1 Bartsch

Photo: Glass sliding doors disappear completely into concealed pockets, opening the kitchen and dining room to the patio.The outdoor kitchen is in the concrete rectangle at right. The pebble walkway, which is about 5 feet wide, acts as a firebreak in the high-risk area.

Lima Int Living Rm Bartsch 

Photo: A double-sided room divider, in wenge wood, separates the family and dining rooms. Waxed concrete floors were used throughout the house.

Lima Int Kitchen Bartsch 

Photo: In the kitchen, the Caesarstone counter echoes the orange exterior stucco and adds warmth to the otherwise cool palette.  The Miele range hood looks like a piece of modernist sculpture.

Lima Int Dining Kitchen Bartsch

Photo: Curvy Verner Panton chairs pull up to the contemporary trestle table, used by the owners for the large European-style dinners they like to serve at 2 p.m. The resin-clad box at the front of house was continued inside, where it holds the pantry, refrigerator and oven.

Lima Int Stairs Bartsch 

Photo: The master bedroom suite is accessed by the steel stair case, which was cantilevered off the house's structural supports so that it appears to float. Underneath the stairs is is an informal study and home office. The Carrara marble counter is a handy spot for a conversation or cocktail.


Photo: Dark-stained bamboo was used on the floor in the master bedroom. A glass wall on the balcony allows for an uninterrupted view of the Santa Monica mountains.


Photo: Sliding glass doors open the master bath to the balcony and views of the Santa Monica mountains. Mixed glass and marble tiles from Ann Sacks were used on the walls. The sinks and tub are Philippe Starck for Duravit.

Lima Ext Facade with pool Bartsch

Photo: The deep overhang accentuates the roof's strong angles and provides shade from the western sun. Low-maintenance artificial turf was used around the lap pool. At the far end is a whirlpool and a courtyard with a fire pit.

Lima Ext Carport Bartsch 

Photo: What appears to be a massive geometric sculpture is actually the carport, made of prefinished sheet metal.

--Anne Harnagel

Photos by Jim Bartsch


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