Dezeen Magazine

Ras-A Studio overhauls mid-century House Under a Bridge in LA

A dated hillside residence in Los Angeles has been overhauled with light-filled interiors and a new stairwell by local firm Ras-A Studio.

The renovation of the mid-century-modern building was completed by Robert Sweet of Ras-A Studio, based nearby in Redondo Beach, for a creative director based in LA.

The client spent some time living the in property before the architect was brought on board to rethink its spaces.

"David waited to see out how the house lived — to figure out what worked and what didn't," said Sweet.

The residence, now known as House Under a Bridge, is located beneath the Shakespeare Bridge in the Los Feliz neighbourhood. The overpass features arched supports and gothic-style turrets that is visible from an outdoor patio.

"We really wanted to view this architecture from the house, so we replaced a solid wall between the shifting roof planes with a clerestory window," the architect said.

The two-storey building measures 1,312 square feet (square metres), with a refurbished double-height living room and lofted dining area among the principle interior spaces.

The homeowner requested an extension for a new guest bath and laundry room, but "due to the hillside zoning constraints, we could not expand the building footprint", the architect said.

Therefore, a small addition was built under an existing crawl space below the upper level, in order to accommodate these extra rooms.

The hillside home is split-level, and its floor plan follows the natural grade of the site, with each of the floors extending out to grade.

Before the renovation, the master bedroom was small and there was an underutilised hallway between the master and living room below.

The architect removed the hallway and created a new master bedroom in its place, which is surrounded by glazing and accessed from a newly designed stairwell.

"When David needs privacy in the master, he simply draws the curtains," said Sweet. "It's kind of like having a large picture window, but it happens to be on the interior."

Upgrades to the building include dual-pane, low-energy glass, and operable windows to allow for passive venting and cooling. Original posts and beams have been insulated, and coated with a white reflective coating.

Los Angeles has a plethora of houses built in the early- and mid-20th century, which have needed a refresh to bring them up-to-spec with contemporary living. Other examples include a renovated 1920s bungalow coloured pink in Echo Park by Productora, and an landmarked 1950s residence in Bel Air that received a cantilevered extension from Andrea Lenardin Madden.

Photography is by Lauren Moore.

More images