John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects
1461 E 4th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90033
213 253 4740
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c. JFAK, 2020
Set amongst mostly traditional homes in northern Santa Monica, this house privileges space, light, and form over adherence to neighborhood conventions. It also reflects the aesthetic and cultural preferences of its owners, a Brazilian woman and first-generation Moroccan man with two young children.
From the street, there is no visible “front door;” one finds instead a large, high window (a play on the traditional “picture window” that is found next door), an orange garage door, and a pink gate leading to the entrance. The front gate and entrance courtyard are a typical feature of North African and Brazilian homes, providing an outdoor greeting area, a transition from public to private, and extra security.
At the entrance, a separate formal living room welcomes less familiar guests. The dining and family rooms are situated more deeply inside the house and welcomes close friends and family. Both inside and outside, fluid volumes and curves activated by natural light reference organic forms commonly found in Brazil. However, whereas the front of the house is defined by more abstract, two-dimensional curves, at the rear, their controlled energy explodes in an exuberant composition of three-dimensional curved volumes that expresses the vibrant multiculturalism at play here.