Dwell Home Venice: Part 12

In this series, Sebastian Mariscal designs a home in Venice, California, that brings the outside in. We track the project from start to finish with future resident Michael Sylvester. Part 12, January 2012: Completing the Framing. A house springs up from the concrete foundations and slabs, seemingly overnight.

Several friends and colleagues told me that framing would feel like the quickest part of the project and this indeed turned out to be true. Almost eighteen months has passed since the project first started and yet, until recently, it felt like the only progress I could see was a couple of slabs on the ground. And then suddenly, in only a few weeks, a house-like wooden object appeared on the jobsite.

Looking west from the living room across the main courtyard to the master bedroom and garage beyond. The connecting bridge in the left of the photo will cover a dining pavilion underneath.

The main courtyard looking south. The bridge in the center of the photo connects the east and west parts of the house and was required by the City in order to meet building code. The need for this connecting bridge was discussed in our blog posts 2 and 3.

The Pine Needle Courtyard houses a mature Monterey pine tree. A carpet of needles was removed during grading but will return soon. The opening on the left is the entry vestibule and on the right is the living/dining/kitchen space.

Here's a shot looking east from the garage towards the main living room with its large door opening. On the right is the master bedroom courtyard. The box shown under the H-shaped steel members will eventually be a fireplace from Spark Modern Fires

Here's a view of the living room showing a large opening onto the main courtyard. The opening is where our big lift and slide door system from Archispec will be installed.

The stud frame is covered in Structural 1 plywood which is used as structural sheathing. This is called a shear wall and it increases the stability of the building. The inspector from the City had to approve of the nailing patterns on the plywood. 

This tall structure holds an external staircase leading up to a rooftop garden and media studio. The square opening underneath will house an outdoor fireplace by Spark Modern Fires. The tall opening left of that is a storage cabinet.


A view east from the garage showing the rooftop media studio. The roof of the garage drains towards the location where the photographer of this shot is standing. Soon a PVC roof sealing system will be installed—a step towards weatherproofing the building.

A view east from the rooftop garden above the master bedroom. On the right is the entry to the media studio and from there the bridge to one of the guest bedrooms. The foreground area is reinforced to withstand the strong loads from soil that will be installed in the garden.

The roof of the outdoor dining pavilion in the main courtyard is also a footbridge connecting two portions of the house above. The box opening on the left will house one of the two outdoor fireplaces by Spark Modern Fires.

A view from the Pine Needle courtyard through the living/dining room to the main courtyard beyond.

Here's the site of the future kitchen. The area to the right of the stairs will house a stack of Miele appliances and the wall on the right is the location of a long Caesarstone counter with cabinets above and below.

An outdoor deck connects the two guest bedrooms while Monterey pine branches poke into the deck space.

A guest bedroom looks onto the bridge that connects the two parts of the house.


Last Updated


Get the Dwell Newsletter

Be the first to see our latest home tours, design news, and more.