The architects, led by principal Jay Hargrave, designed a simple, 1,700-square-foot structure that begins as a one-story at the entrance façade then rises to a second story at the back to accommodate the bedroom loft area. In the design phase, he and Wong, who initially asked for a bachelor pad, remained especially cognizant of the extreme sun exposure at the site, and planned accordingly. The angled roof protects the occupants—Wong, his wife, preschool teacher and amateur artist Cherry Li and her teenage daughter, Jasmine—from extreme midday sun, but the meticulously placed windows allow plenty of bright, constantly shifting light in throughout the day.
"Patrick wanted a very efficient, well-built house, and the program is fairly straightforward," says Hargrave. "The way he lives his life is intrinsically sustainable, so it was necessary to create something in which every bit of space would be well-utilized." Wong adds that he admires the flexibility of Japanese architecture and interior space, and relies on being able to use the main, open space downstairs "as a photography studio, a living room or even a dance floor if we ever feel like it."
Erika Heet has been working in publishing for more than 20 years, including years spent as a senior editor at Architectural Digest and Robb Report. She has written for Architectural Digest, Robb Report, Interiors, Bon Appétit, Sierra Magazine, and The Berkeley Fiction Review. She recently wrote the foreword to New Tropical Classics: Hawaiian Homes by Shay Zak. She lives in a Topanga cabin with her artist husband and two children.