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Pro Portfolio: A Pacific Palisades renovation bridges the gap between in and out

April 25, 2011 |  7:58 am

Shift_06_Outdoor Beds (2)
Every Monday we post a newly built, remodeled or redecorated home with commentary from the designer. This week:

Project: Palisades House, Pacific Palisades

Architect: Mario Cipresso AIA, principal, Studio Shift Architects, Santa Monica, (310) 230-5273.

General Contractor: Bernsen Design, Calabasas, (323) 573-5650. Landscape Design: Mark Tessier, Santa Monica. Structural Engineer: Mike Martinez, Manhattan Beach, (310) 546-1443.

Shift_07_Across Deck from Bridge (2) Architect's Description: Positioned on a rather dramatic site in Pacific Palisades, abutting a small creek at the rear of the steeply sloped property, this extensive renovation and addition to a single-family home ensconces an active family of four within a tranquil, nature-infused environment.

The existing home took little advantage of the natural topography and landscape of the site and made little effort to physically connect the occupants with the expansive outdoors. Additionally, the home demonstrated a need for more architectural clarity and cohesiveness. 

The intent then was to have virtually all interior spaces open directly onto an outdoor garden or deck space on both levels of the home and framing those spaces with landscape. This is most apparent in the living room, which features a 24-foot glass wall with two 6-foot sliding glass panels merging the room with the upper deck, an ideal arrangement for entertaining or casual living.  The kitchen achieves the same relationship with the outdoors but goes further by bathing the space in northern light via the 12-foot glass skylight above.  The net effect is that of living in a garden, green foliage buffering your views to the world beyond.

Moving between outdoor spaces is accomplished through a bridge from the upper deck that connects to the lower through a steel and concrete stair which continues down into the landscape, where the path becomes more informal and improvised as you move into the more intimate garden areas where the jacuzzi tub is located.

The exterior material palette was critical in continuing the notion of living within nature.  The mahogany cladding, which continues into the bedrooms on the lower level, complements the warm, orange hue of the weathering-steel panels that serve to frame the master bedroom opening.

To see inside, keep reading ...

Shift_01_Master Bedroom

Interior view looking out from master bedroom to rear deck and yard.


Shift_02_Dining Room (2)

Interior view from front entry door to dining room.



Interior view of kitchen across oversized central island.



View from living room looking through opened sliding glass doors to upper deck.



View from front entry area across living room.


Shift_08_Stair Detail

Detail view of steel stair and concrete landing.


Shift_09_MasterBed Bridge

View of bridge and stair with weathering-steel clad master bedroom on left.


Shift_12_Across Deck to Bridge
View from lower deck seating area to master bedroom and bridge.

   Shift_10_Stair Detail 2

Detail view of stair landing, deck and retaining wall.

Shift_00_Before Photo
A before photo.

-- Compiled by Lisa Boone

Photo credits: Alen Lin and Stephen Morton


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