Industry insiders know that architects are natural light fanatics. Their craft entails creating structures that utilize space to help improve the quality of everyday life. Which is why when architect David Thompson, Principal Designer of Assembledge+, shared with us that he spent two years living on his recently purchased 18,000 square-foot property before tearing down the original structure and rebuilding his new home, in order to learn “about sun patterns and environmental conditions that affect the site”, it came as little surprise. Located in the foothills of Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles, the property offered lush greenery and mature trees – an idyllic setting for those looking for an urban oasis.
The driving concept for David’s personal home that he designed for his family of four, was to blur the line between interior and exterior spaces. The building is divided into three different pavilions – the west containing the bedrooms and the east the living spaces – connected by glass walkways overlooking the courtyard of majestic olive trees. This is just one example of many of how David uses the flow of space to create a sense of privacy or togetherness. “The fluidity between the kitchen, breakfast room, and family room, designed for uninterrupted entertainment, creates a harmony of transparency and lightness,” he explained. “Large windows, skylights, and pocketing doors create a series of layered vignettes and infuse the home with light. We did not want to live a traditional compartmentalized method of living.”
The home also features numerous contrasting colors and materials: “White oak hardwood floors and marble countertops have been chosen as primary materials for the inside to give the house a bit of warmth,” he said. “To maintain a minimalistic look, the expanded kitchen features off-black custom painted cabinets crafted by Ubencio Maldanado.” Beyond contrast, David designed the home to bring the outdoors in, and the indoors out: “We are so fortunate to live in a climate that affords the opportunity to live outdoors all year round and, in a way, treat the entire site here as we are accustomed to treating interiors,” he added. Along with interior designer Susan Mitnick, he conceived several exterior living areas the feature pieces that invite lounging and conversing.
As for the decor, Susan worked with David to bring in stand-alone pieces that work within the eco-system of the architecture, including a few that he had been coveting for some time. “I have always wanted an Eames Lounger, so that extra special piece has been in the design since our home’s inception,” he shared. A few other examples of sculptural pieces that Susan brought into the space are the brass Rameau Pendant by Jonathan Browning in the hallway, the Line Pendant by Douglas & Bec in the dining room, and the Massimo Castagna-designed lighting pieces for Gallotti&Radice over the bedside tables. “Because the breadth of the house graciously embraces both the qualities of airiness and solidity, we knew it could hold large scale monolithic pieces,” she said.