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Collection by Kelly Dawson

This Home's Design Took 72 Drafts to Get Right

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The 1,700-square-foot home’s unusual design resists excess with rugged minimalism.

There were many incarnations of this lot before its owner had settled on a harmonizing design. Set in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, the site was allegedly a dumping ground during the construction of a nearby freeway—a concern brought to the owner by his neighbors—and the foundation of a house that was demolished after incurring damage from the 1994 Northridge earthquake. But the owner knew a thing or two about rebirth: he’s a Zen Buddhist monk and he envisioned a fresh start. He partnered with principal Tom Marble of Marbletecture to create a sustainable property, and he initially thought a circular design embodied that goal. But after 72 drafts, the duo settled on an unusual frame: hexagons. “In this way, users enjoy a complexity of light and space, and a variety of ways to access the exterior no matter where they happen to be,” Marble says. The home is a duplex, with one bedroom upstairs and a studio downstairs, and both realms are made from a handful of materials. It’s a welcome shift for the storied lot, and a more peaceful one at that.

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“The [home] is a sanctuary, despite being a duplex on a standard lot in a regular urban grid,” Marble says.
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