About the project
Stradella, Los Angeles is SAOTA’s first completed project in the city and is a remodel of an existing 1970’s house on a beautiful promontory in Bel Air.
The original layout of the site and dwelling was planned to ensure privacy from the street and to address spectacular views over the LA basin, capturing the full panorama from Downtown to Century City, with mountains to the east and ocean to the south. On the client’s instruction to expunge all traces of the original Spanish style architecture, SAOTA stripped the existing house back to its timber skeleton maximizing the square footage and, by reinforcing or extending where necessary, created generous openings to draw the beautiful West Coast light, the rolling vistas and the verdant setting into the floorplan.
The arrival façade is reimagined as a sculptural composition – a massive buttress ties the house into the hillside; blank, stone-faced walls, incised with vertical screens hover over the glazing, inviting the eye in and through. From the entrance lobby, an asymmetrical passage carved through the main body of the house intentionally delays the reveal of the Downtown skyline, framed by the high ceilings of the great room.
The house aims to capture the essence of Californian living, with the internal spaces feeling light, fresh and open; connecting the various functions of the house for modern family living and grand entertaining, alike. Where possible, walls were replaced by full-height glazing with sliding windows pocketing or stacking to create generous openings. Key bedrooms and bathrooms were redesigned to spill out onto external terraces suspended over the sparkling night skyline.
The overall palette balances warm and natural tones against the bold masses and crisp linear forms that characterize the architecture. An elegant canvas of French limestone and white plaster walls is enlivened inside and out by bronze anodized aluminium screens, and light grey window frames. Internally, grey-washed ash millwork and doors complement both limestone floor tiles used throughout the living spaces and the oak flooring in the bedrooms.
Carefully-designed lighting accentuates the architecture and responds directly to furniture layouts, ensuring that a sense of intimacy is established throughout the open spaces. Concealed fixtures and discreet layouts create a comfortable night-time ambience; the twinkling LA Skyline remains the star attraction. Landscaping was designed to enhance the already luxuriant setting.
Existing twin palms were retained at the pool terrace and feature in views out of the solarium bar and master bedroom suite, while low-level planting and lawn to the terraces ensure functional outdoor spaces and uncluttered views of the horizon. To the rear of the site, additional planting enhanced the tree-lined drive whilst a characterful mature tree was retained in the forecourt providing a real sense of place and a backdrop for the study and entrance lobby.
Going well beyond the remit of a traditional remodel, SAOTA has utterly transformed the existing house into a home that functions at the highest level and establishes a fresh contemporary aesthetic in the tradition of Californian Modernism.
Poliform Closets and Millwork Antoni Lupi Bathrooms Ernestomeda Kitchens Heritage Vine Wine Cellar Fleetwood Windows Expormim Minotti and Thonet