Live Outside the Box in This Artist’s Haven For $3.5M

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By Jenny Xie / Published by Dwell
The two units that make up the MuSh Residence offer plenty of studio, gallery, and outdoor space in a configuration that challenges the status quo.

When the original owners of the MuSh Residence approached Los Angeles-based architecture firm LAB+ (formerly Studio 0.10), they presented a complex wish list for a home that would integrate living, work, and entertainment areas. In addition to maximizing outdoor space, the couple requested offices, an art studio, an exhibition space to support the wife’s gallery business, and a separate apartment for the wife’s mother. "The planning and design strategies involved pushing, pulling, stacking, stretching, and wrapping the programs onto the site," says principal architect Andrew Liang. "If you can imagine, it was a bit like trying to fit a few contortionists into a box—which became the overriding analogy driving the formal and spatial concept of the project."

Live Outside the Box in This Artist’s Haven For $3.5M - Photo 1 of 8 - "When it comes to materials, we tended to borrow from fashion thinking—texture, color, textile, stitching, seaming, etc. are what inspires us," says Liang. Sunken patches in the zinc cladding give the exterior texture, and sustainably grown and harvested Brazilian ipe wood provides a contrasting trim.

"When it comes to materials, we tended to borrow from fashion thinking—texture, color, textile, stitching, seaming, etc. are what inspires us," says Liang. Sunken patches in the zinc cladding give the exterior texture, and sustainably grown and harvested Brazilian ipe wood provides a contrasting trim.

"It was a bit like trying to fit a few contortionists into a box." - Andrew Liang

Live Outside the Box in This Artist’s Haven For $3.5M - Photo 2 of 8 - The white plaster interior acts as "the yang to the zinc's yin, or the white shirt inside a fitted black suit," says Liang.

The white plaster interior acts as "the yang to the zinc's yin, or the white shirt inside a fitted black suit," says Liang.

Live Outside the Box in This Artist’s Haven For $3.5M - Photo 3 of 8 - Structural, high-performance glass exposes the gallery wall to the surrounding neighborhood while protecting the artwork from UV rays.

Structural, high-performance glass exposes the gallery wall to the surrounding neighborhood while protecting the artwork from UV rays.

The resulting residence is comprised of two zinc-clad structures separated by a courtyard. The unit toward the front of the narrow lot houses a four-car garage; a ground-floor apartment with its own kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom; and a second-floor art studio. Behind it, the main house contains living, dining, and kitchen areas on the ground floor, a home office and a guest room on the second floor, and a master suite on the third floor. Wrapping around the house, the stairwell doubles as a continuous gallery space that continues an emphasis on indoor/outdoor living. Since the home is bordered by a nursery on two sides, Liang was able to use the "borrowed greenery" to provide a sense of "living next to a patch of ever-changing nature."

Live Outside the Box in This Artist’s Haven For $3.5M - Photo 4 of 8 - The open plan of the main house combines living, dining, and kitchen areas. A courtyard sandwiched between the main house and the studio structure offers an outdoor platform for entertaining.

The open plan of the main house combines living, dining, and kitchen areas. A courtyard sandwiched between the main house and the studio structure offers an outdoor platform for entertaining.

Live Outside the Box in This Artist’s Haven For $3.5M - Photo 5 of 8 - A lush nursery adjacent to the property provides green views and a sense of connection to the outdoors.

A lush nursery adjacent to the property provides green views and a sense of connection to the outdoors.

Live Outside the Box in This Artist’s Haven For $3.5M - Photo 6 of 8 - The master suite on the third floor enjoys a view of the surrounding city. 

The master suite on the third floor enjoys a view of the surrounding city. 

Now available for $3.5 million, the MuSh Residence is a thoughtful reimagining of the traditional abode. "The circulation that doubles as a continuous linear gallery space, stairways as ‘sit and contemplate’ spaces, [and] architecture that provokes a sense of voyeurism and is still able to be private are all aspects of the design that redefined the domestic functions of a house," explains Liang. "Surely this is not a house for just anyone, but for the right owner willing to think and live simultaneously inside and outside of the box, this house will never be dull."

Live Outside the Box in This Artist’s Haven For $3.5M - Photo 7 of 8 - Studio space was paramount to the original homeowners. In addition to the second floor of the smaller unit, the four-car garage can also be converted into a workspace.

Studio space was paramount to the original homeowners. In addition to the second floor of the smaller unit, the four-car garage can also be converted into a workspace.

Live Outside the Box in This Artist’s Haven For $3.5M - Photo 8 of 8 -

For more information, visit the property’s website.

Do you know of a real estate listing we should feature on the site? Let us know in the comments below, or by emailing jxie@dwell.com.

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