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Pro Portfolio: Two houses on one lot, a separate-but-equal approach for friends in Silver Lake

June 6, 2011 |  7:07 am

Westerly House2 02
Every Monday we post a recently built, remodeled or redecorated home with commentary from the designer. This week's project consists of two homes built on a single lot:

Architect: Carter C. Bravmann, InterForm, Los Angeles, (323) 656-7316. Contractor: Mark Blanco, Westmont Construction, Glendora, (626) 485-0912.

Project: Westerly Terrace

Location: Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles

Goal: To create two separate yet equal modernist residences for two longtime friends on a lot zoned for a duplex.

Westerly House1 03 Architect’s description: Zoned for a duplex (R-2 in city of L.A. zoning parlance), this property has been owned by two best friends for years. One friend and his wife lived in one unit; the other friend in the second unit. 

Because both worked at home and needed additional space, we devised a means to create two separate single-family houses on the lot. The property is still classified as R-2 with two newly reconfigured units of housing.

The rear portion of the property accommodates a new residence. The existing duplex at the front of the property was converted to a single-family home.

Each friend contributed 50% to the cost, decision-making and coordination efforts. It was a truly collaborative and democratic process. The completed homes also were meant to be examples of the evolution of the Los Angeles archetype: the single-family home. The reconfigured property has ample space and privacy, yet at a higher density than is found elsewhere in Los Angeles. It is also 100% solar powered and 100% solar-hot-water heated.

Each house reflects unique personalities, aesthetics and functional requirements. Each one relates to the other and fosters a sense of community and shared semi-private/public space for impromptu gatherings.

To see more of both homes, keep reading ...

Westerly House1 01
House No. 1 is the property's original duplex converted into a single-family residence. It now has a no-maintenance red cement board exterior with galvanized metal screeds.


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A covered entry leads to the glass front door and the main living areas on the top floor.


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The living room is adjacent to the dining room in the open floor plan.


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Looking back toward the front door.


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Steel and glass stairs lead to the lower level.


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The stairs, as seen from the lower level media/family room.


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Textured embossed glass provides acoustical separation from the media/family room yet allows light to reach the stairs.


Westerly House1 12Patterned tile in the bathroom.


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House No. 2, which is all-new construction, as seen from House No. 1 at dusk.


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House No. 2 as seen from ground level. Family room, dining area and kitchen are downstairs. A den and master bedroom with deck are upstairs.


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A view of the dining room and its stone-clad fireplace, looking toward the kitchen.


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You can see House No. 1 through the glass doors.


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 The family room, off the kitchen on the main floor.


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 Corner sliding-glass doors yield another connection to House No. 1.


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Upstairs, a den.


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Another view of the upstairs den. 


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The master bedroom's ceiling is clad in cedar. Outside, the deck.


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In the master bathroom: a stone tile shower and bath and maple cabinets.


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-- Lisa Boone

Photo credits: Michael McNamera

Pro Portfolio appears here every Monday. Submit projects to home@latimes.com.

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