Working from the client’s brief, Ameen Ayoub Design Studio design stunning private two-fold residence resulting in both a workable and livable environment.
How were you commissioned?:
Ameen Ayoub Design Studio (http://www.ameenayoub.com), the Los Angeles-based contemporary design office dedicated to a progressive working process, was commissioned to design this stunning private residence for a writer and director client who utilizes his home office as a primary creative space to develop his work. Ayoub set out to create a residence with an open floor plan with room to work and play at every level. The home's curved walls and skewed angles delineate the flow of the house while urban-rustic materials are woven into walls, ceilings, and floors.
What was the brief from the client and how much were they involved?:
The client wanted a contemporary home that broke away from the norm and explored the more sculptural artist qualities of his lifestyle. In addition, the client desired a custom designed home that would be multi-functional. Ameen Ayoub Design Studio set out to design a two-fold residence, one that resulted in both a workable and livable environment. The client's brief resulted in a full home office at the main floor area with plenty of space for editing and views to the front yard with access to the front yard via a dedicated doorway to the patio for impromptu meetings. Additionally, the home includes free-flowing open space with floor to ceiling glass doors to open the space up as needed to the side and back yard. In keeping with the client's needs, Ayoub designed a full theater with seating for 18 people in the basement to screen movies and review any daily work.
How did the brief affect the materials and design choices?:
The client desired the use of wood, concrete, and steel in a way that gave an understated and sophisticated industrial look while keeping with a very modern and sleek feel. Ayoub made decisions to disperse the materials in a way that always balanced the design and spaces so there was never an overwhelming moment that overshadowed any other space in the home.
How did your previous experience help you with this project?:
Ameen Ayoub has designed complex residential homes, industrial office building designs, various interior works, and even furniture for many years. He has also worked closely with architect Frank Gehry where material experimentation was at the forefront, along with making sculptural spaces work within various site constraints. With over 15 years of working with clients, artists, builders, and other architects, Ayoub had a wide variety of design experience to draw from with the Croft Residence.
Can you explain the layout of the project:
The project layout starts from the front yard with a path from the sidewalk along a residential street in West Hollywood. You enter the site at the far right of the front yard and proceed along an angled path that draws in a person and sets a perspective of the home in which the building elements are arranged at an optimal view angle. When you enter the home there is a constriction of space at the front door entry but once you walk through the front door, the wall to the left curves and widens to reveal one giant living space. Ayoub notes that Frank Lloyd Wright used a similar tactic in some of his greatest works, offering inspiration for the Croft Residence. Once you are in the main space you see a monumental steel stair three stories high with a massive skylight that floods the stairwell with sunshine. The open tread and stringer steel stairs lead down to the basement or up to the master bedroom and two guest rooms. The main layout blends living, dining, and kitchen together and there is a huge retractable automated screen that rolls down as television when needed but can also be hidden. Additionally, there are 11’ high ceilings in the main floor space with minimal walls while exposed steel stairs and columns blend with concrete floors and oak wood cabinets. Glass slider windows are also included to complete the soft industrial interior feel.
What problems or challenges did you face?:
The building of this complex geometric home posed problems at the framing level for which Ameen Ayoub Design Studio needed to pay close attention to because once the framing was complete there was little to no room for errors in applying finish materials.
What do you feel were the most unusual design elements of the project?:
The second story had some slanted walls and curved walls that created a great space internally as well as from the exterior. I tried to always offer a bend, slant or curve wherever there was an opportunity without interrupting the openness of the design. In many cases, it created an even better space because it became dynamic visually," says Ayoub.
How do you think this project is pushing design forward? What makes it special?:
This project concept was always meant to break the rules of what a normal contemporary designed home would look and feel like from the very start. This is something that Ameen Ayoub Design Studio is highly regarded for with its projects. Clean lines were developed but the studio tends to "bend the rules" on everything they do. Ayoub notes that the special part for him in this project includes the fact that it was designed to function as an art piece for the client to live in and to create his art in. "An inspired space to create inspired works," says Ayoub.
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