Collection by Kelly Dawson

This Home's Design Took 72 Drafts to Get Right


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.

“[The owner] wanted a place that was a sort of retreat, a place for meditation and contemplation,” architect Tom Marble...
The painted-gray concrete deck, edged with quarter-inch thick steel railings, offers sweeping views of the city.
The owner wanted a property that had the least amount of impact on the environment as possible, while staying within...
The challenge of the Douglas fir built-ins was that they had to be made with 60-degree angles in mind.
The interior design of the home was shaped by its construction, and a mantra that Marble refers to as “It is what it...
Fleetwood Windows & Doors provided the dual-glazed panes throughout the home.
“By shifting the 60-degree equilateral grid of the home 18 degrees, it blurred the edges of the lot line so that the...
“The [home] is a sanctuary, despite being a duplex on a standard lot in a regular urban grid,” Marble says.
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