Sometimes Building Your Dream Home Means Putting a Pole Through Your Pool

A designer and his client tell us about the compromises required to create a home worthy of being on the cover of an architecture magazine.
Text by
Photos by

About six years ago, architects Claus Benjamin Freyinger and Andrew Holder of Los Angeles firm The LADG hired Danielle Rago’s PR company, This by That, to lead their media communications. The three developed such a good working relationship that when Danielle was ready to build her dream home, the two sides reversed roles—she hired The LADG, and suddenly she was their client. Starting with a mundane 1929 bungalow in L.A.’s Larchmont Village, the three worked together to design a one-of-a-kind three-bedroom house and accessory dwelling unit for Danielle and her family, including husband Darren Hochberg, toddler Oliver, puppy Melrose, and newborn Julian (who was still in the works when Dwell photographed the family in January). The recently completed home is distinguished by its light palette, unique blend of forms, and inventive use of materials, stucco and asphalt shingles among them. The unconventional blend reflects the clients’ confidence in the architects’ flair for experimentation. Here, Danielle and Ben tell us how they balanced wishes and reality and ended up with a pole in the pool.

Join Dwell+ to Continue

Subscribe to Dwell+ to get everything you already love about Dwell, plus exclusive home tours, video features, how-to guides, access to the Dwell archive, and more. You can cancel at any time.

Try Dwell+ for FREE

Already a Dwell+ subscriber? Sign In

Janelle Zara
Janelle Zara is a freelance art, architecture, and design writer with a thorough understanding of the Internet.