Drumming Up Design

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January 25, 2009
Brotherly love takes many forms; in the case of Rob and Eric Brill, it’s a shared passion for modernism. Rob, the younger of the two and a rock musician, recently completed the second of two live/work homes in Los Angeles that serve as spaces for recording and rehearsing and as expressions of his taste for a bracingly spartan brand of minimalism. He built both homes with co-investment from his brother Eric, a retired businessman and serious collector of industrial design, who until recently lived in a 1934 Edward Durrell Stone house in New York State. “We are modernists,” says Rob, with the clarity of someone declaring a religious belief. “We love its simplicity, the embrace of its surroundings.” Along the way, though, the Brill brothers have been struck by another near-spiritual commitment: environmentalism. Read Full Article
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  When Brill purchased his residence, a onetime warehouse for mid-century lighting fixtures, it was subdivided. He and architect Tony Unruh gutted the 1,800-square-foot building completely and created an open floor plan for Brill's living areas and practice space.  Photo by: Noah Webb
    When Brill purchased his residence, a onetime warehouse for mid-century lighting fixtures, it was subdivided. He and architect Tony Unruh gutted the 1,800-square-foot building completely and created an open floor plan for Brill's living areas and practice space.

    Photo by: Noah Webb

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  Rob Brill makes nice with this good buddy, Junior next to a curved and corrugated steel enclosure.  Photo by: Noah Webb
    Rob Brill makes nice with this good buddy, Junior next to a curved and corrugated steel enclosure.

    Photo by: Noah Webb

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  Brill's practice area features a ’50s Wurlitzer piano and a mid-’60s Ludwig drum kit. For acoustics, the architect insulated the walls with two layers of Sheetrock stuffed with denim insulation. The floor is made of pegboard—an unusual, albeit cost-effective, material choice.  Photo by: Noah Webb
    Brill's practice area features a ’50s Wurlitzer piano and a mid-’60s Ludwig drum kit. For acoustics, the architect insulated the walls with two layers of Sheetrock stuffed with denim insulation. The floor is made of pegboard—an unusual, albeit cost-effective, material choice.

    Photo by: Noah Webb

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  Brill softens his spartan living space with his music. An IKEA set of table and chairs commingles with some 1963 Slingerland drums.  Photo by: Noah Webb
    Brill softens his spartan living space with his music. An IKEA set of table and chairs commingles with some 1963 Slingerland drums.

    Photo by: Noah Webb

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  When feeling more Depeche Mode than Def Leppard, Brill turns to his Rhythm Ace drum machine, sitting on top of assorted recording gear.  Photo by: Noah Webb
    When feeling more Depeche Mode than Def Leppard, Brill turns to his Rhythm Ace drum machine, sitting on top of assorted recording gear.

    Photo by: Noah Webb

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  Brill’s Prius sits under the solar panels, which supplies the energy for the house's lighting, air-conditioning and hot water.  Photo by: Noah Webb
    Brill’s Prius sits under the solar panels, which supplies the energy for the house's lighting, air-conditioning and hot water.

    Photo by: Noah Webb

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  The house’s bare-essentials decor extends into the kitchen, which owes more to sleek commercial cooking spaces than anything on the Food Network.  Photo by: Noah Webb
    The house’s bare-essentials decor extends into the kitchen, which owes more to sleek commercial cooking spaces than anything on the Food Network.

    Photo by: Noah Webb

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  The kitchen's restaurant-supply counter and Model Six stools by Jeff Covey for Herman Miller are next to a large window overlooking the garden.  Photo by: Noah Webb
    The kitchen's restaurant-supply counter and Model Six stools by Jeff Covey for Herman Miller are next to a large window overlooking the garden.

    Photo by: Noah Webb

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