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  • Secret House - West Side Home Tour

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    Photo: Lars Frazer

  • Secret House - West Side Home Tour

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/dwell-production-s3/dht_images/443/slide.jpg


    Photo: Lars Frazer

  • Secret House - West Side Home Tour

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/dwell-production-s3/dht_images/444/slide.jpg


    Photo: Lars Frazer

  • Secret House - West Side Home Tour

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/dwell-production-s3/dht_images/445/slide.jpg


    Photo: Lars Frazer

  • Secret House - West Side Home Tour

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/dwell-production-s3/dht_images/446/slide.jpg


    Photo: Lars Frazer

Secret House

Pacific Palisades , CA


West Side Home Tour
Sunday, June 24, 2012


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Striking a balance between old and new, our scheme updates this 50s-era ranch while maintaining its neighborly scale and demeanor. The clients, three growing boys and two busy parents loved the look and feel of their Rustic Canyon home, but had outgrown its diminutive size and traditional plan. Though our intervention more than doubles the area of the existing house, the street-facing elevation betrays scant evidence of the change. Only at the rear is the transformation fully revealed: a dramatic timber-sheathed volume is inserted at the house's center. An expansive master suite occupies the upper level of the "box", while the lower floor accommodates a new family kitchen.

Rejecting the rigidly cellular nature of the original floor plan, our design loosely intertwines formal and informal, play and repose, while creating a dynamic sense of movement from interior to exterior. Covered terraces and operable glass walls at the living and family rooms further blur the boundary between inside and out. Our material palette references but expands upon the original; cast-in place concrete, natural-finished wood and smooth plaster combine in a lively dialog between modern and traditional, new and old, in and out.

About the Architect


Thumb Michael Kovac
Kovac Architects, Inc
contact_us@kovacarchitects.com

www.kovacarchitects.com


Michael was born into an Air Force family in coastal Maine, and his extensive travels as a youngster included long stays in Okinawa, Japan. Early influences - aviation, aircraft, and exposure to non-Western cultures - would later subtly inform his work. Michael’s family eventually settled in Las Vegas, from whence he subsequently escaped to the saner confines of the USC School of Architecture on a Trustee Scholarship. Early in his career, Michael worked in the office of noted modernist Jerrold Lomax, before founding Kovac Architects in 1988; he soon earned a number of commissions for high end health clubs, commercial spaces, and detail-rich residences. Michael is passionate about design and innovation; not only in architecture, but also in industrial design and lighting. To this end, he is directing the office’s work on a line of lighting for mass production, as well as several pieces of furniture to be available in more limited release. Michael is, as they say, ‘outdoor-sy’, and experimented with just about every outdoor sport REI sells gear for before settling on mountain biking, stand-up paddle-boarding, and downhill skiing. He and wife Karina, a pediatrician, met while trail riding. She keeps his elbows bandaged, and her excellent vegetarian cuisine has moderated his penchant for hot dogs and In-N-Out Burger (or so he claims). They share a love of nature and sustainable living, and moved into Sycamore House, the firm’s first LEED Platinum project, in the Spring of 2010.


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Purchase a 2-Day Weekend Pass and receive free tickets to Meet the Architects Reception.

Upcoming Events

West Side Home Tour 2014 -
Saturday, June 14, 2014
East Side Home Tour 2014 -
Saturday, June 21, 2014