At the end of a meandering driveway leading to the peak of a Calabasas mountaintop, a residence with a 360 degree panoramic view dominated by the Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy landscape emerges. The client handed ADC a spec home built in the 80s along with a barebones remodel permit that had been in the keep-alive position for years to polish and tune the existing entitlements to take an ordinary structure and design to the extraordinary position that the site elicits. The result was converting a nondescript architectural hodgepodge into a site appropriate Modern California Spanish architectural theme which provides opportunity to maximize the estate’s connection with the exterior while shielding the structure from the threat of fire. The thematic composition allowed us to work within the existing building form and roof lines to present timeless design principles while using modern fenestration systems to provide a strong connection with the magnificent vista.
While discarding the existing undesirable program lacking in circulation we reinvented spaces while working around existing conditions and entitlements to provide an expansive open plan which brings visitors through a private courtyard and immediately projects the occupants into a panoramic scene without incumbering the precious view with unnecessary building components. The spacious 2nd floor master suite provides a 180 degree mountain view with a generous outdoor seating area and a intimate 3rd level lookout tower lounge. The pool gracing the top of the mountain was connected with the interior to provide opportunities for reflection, thereby blurring the horizon and animating the backyard as a mirror of the sky.
Taking a brilliant conceptual rendering for an open plan glass-walled beachfront residence in Malibu, ADC was engaged to bring the rendering to reality for a unique 2nd floor water feature which flanked the corner master suite. The feature was intended to provide a seamless connection with the ocean by bridging the sightline over a narrow patch of sand providing a direct visual connection from the residence to the Pacific Ocean. In order to minimize the structural profile and maximize the effect, ADC collaborated with the structural engineer to devise a unique cantilevered support system which accommodated a stainless steel vessel with the necessary trough and equipment for water conditioning and recirculation while maintaining a zero-edge profile on four sides to take this concept of a floating body of water reflecting the dramatic Malibu sky to a constructible reality. Submerged acrylic panels were proposed to punctuate the cantilevered eave supporting the water feature above, thereby adding overhead natural light through the smooth eave providing the sensation of viewing the sky through water from the veiwpoint of the pool directly below. This incredible feature brings the outside even further inward to the occupants of this luxe oceanfront compound.
The Owners of this quaint historic lakefront home enjoyed decades of residence since their initial remodel of the structure originally built in the 1920s. Although well-kept and inviting, they were ready to reset and refresh the home to resolve operational, aesthetic, and programmatic deficiencies while retaining the spirit of the original structure. The end result would be a similar feel with a carefully planned, convenient, luxurious, and thoughtful living experience. The primary design goals included raising the 1st floor from 8’ to 10’ ceilings, creating an open plan kitchen that would compliment the Owner’s refined culinary expertise while providing for a strong outdoor connection, improving the split level 2nd floor access and circulation, making the undersized garage accessible to an SUV, and adding a great room on an existing terraced portion of the hillside directly behind the existing structure. ADC leveraged point cloud data to maintain the existing footprint to strategically justify the grandfathered setback aspects of the building that would greatly diminish with a new construction approach. This enabled ADC to propose a building envelope which would minimize expensive structural foundation systems leveraging existing structural components as much as possible. By creating strategic workarounds to minimize surcharge into existing site walls ADC avoided triggering hundreds of thousands of dollars of foundation additions and improvements which could needlessly dictate removing and retrofitting existing hillside wall systems which were performing well for many years in their existing state.
Working with the form of the existing building while embellishing and expanding upon the existing architectural concepts, the new entry sequence was relocated and grounded upon an axis which aligns with the property’s lakefront dock to enhance the connection of the home with the body of water on which it peacefully lies. Adding a modern flair to the traditional architecture, ADC was able to devise an open living plan at the entry level which provided excellent indoor/outdoor circulation, outdoor living areas, and garden vistas at the rear of the residence to compliment the lakefront views on the opposing side. While addressing practical accessibility concerns to allow for the retired clients to age gracefully in this multilevel home, a private master suite was crafted, a junior master suite was added, along with a gym and flexible office/guest room achieved all of the potential future programing the clients could dream of.
On an existing breathtaking hilltop dwelling in Malibu, ADC was brought in to refine and reprogram countless aspects of the contemporary structure to take a beautiful building to a superior level of livability and comfort. Performed scope included designing bespoke hidden retractable insect screens befitting the 10’ tall and over 20’ long pocketing Fleetwood fenestration systems that would allow the resident to enjoy the outside climate freely without uninvited rural hilltop wildlife inside, all this was accomplished without infringing on the clean lines of the building. An existing cedar-clad sauna was redesigned to include both natural gas and infrared heat sources while adding a shower and cold plunge pool outside. A trellis was proposed to capture an existing sitting area of the yard while providing a dramatic sense of outdoor living with sweeping views of of Catalina Island while providing variable privacy and shade to the occupants. Custom lighting systems were devised and integrated into antique sculpture and moroccan fixtures for thematic effects. The entry sequence was to be removed and replaced with a graceful combination of materials and art which leverage the unique properties of the site, thereby providing visitors with a direction and sequence leading guests from the street to the astounding panoramic view which unveils with the opening of the secure courtyard doors. While this design was in progress ADC directed new IT systems for communication, new storage and maintenance facilities, a new outdoor lounge adjacent to the theater, meaningful revisions to the Lutron systems, and appropriately specific art lighting. With so many aesthetic improvements it was necessary to rework the AV closet in addition to solving an accumulation of functional issues that plagued the Owner since he began to occupy the residence. Decades of high end residential collaboration suited ADC to present comprehensive and feasible solutions which combine form and function to raise the bar of this distinguished property in a thoughtful way.
While collaborating on a Hollywood Residence a local subcontractor furnished a 4 car parking lift system in a two car garage. TR Wurster received and installed the lift system in addition to fabricating and installing the surrounding steel structural components and some finish components. Since this was a distressed project having been partially completed in a very poor manner by a terminated GC, ADC analyzed and repaired the structural deficiencies caused by faulty workmanship while resolving the structural and architectural design conflicts. During the analytical modeling of existing conditions using referential point cloud data, ADC discovered that a low clearance sports car couldn’t enter the garage due to the existing approach elevation datum established by the street approach. ADC came to the rescue by designing and modeling an innovative mechanical solution to solve this problem of geometry to resolve and restore the intended function to this garage.
The Client had an existing no-frills stable in her Hidden Hills estate where she wanted to not only provide residence to her equine companions, but to expand the social program with her beloved riding partners. ADC reimagined her existing stable to facilitate a social program where human and horse could enjoy association in a casual and comfortable way, each mammal having the highest order of creature comforts. By integrating an indoor and outdoor living area with an open program where the horses could join humans for interaction at will, a relaxed environment complimenting the architecture of the other buildings within this estate compound was crafted to facilitate a cross-species socialization program that engenders friendship and delight without obstruction, while allowing the pleasant Southern California climate to open the walls creating a seamless and comfortable indoor/outdoor experience in any weather condition.