This urban villa comprised of three discrete building components defines a protected central courtyard garden—a refuge in the middle of Los Angeles. The constituent parts diminish the scale of the project bringing the whole into a more harmonious relationship with the users. The residence challenges notions of urban vs. suburban: while located in a large city, the design faces inward providing privacy, a peaceful environment, and solitude. 


Mar Vista, CA


Single Family Residence


3,700 sq ft


Completed 2008


Dwell Home Tour

AIA Home Tour


Gilsanz Murry Steficek, Structural

The main house, a two-story building, contains the living functions. Folded planes define the roof and walls, and windows perforate the building in a seemingly haphazard way, but are intentionally located to maximize select views and allow light to penetrate the interior. A double-height volume articulates the main living area where an oversized fireplace extends beyond the roof plane. The pool house and guest wing—a pair of modernist boxes—are a restrained counterpoint to the main residence. These simple structures mirror each other at either end of the open outdoor space. A swimmers’ pool accentuates the axis and appears to float on the carpet of green landscape. The artist’s studio rests on pilotis projecting over the pool allowing space for a pool cabana below. Guest quarters are located above the garage and accessed via a bridge connecting the second-story elements and serving as the main entry of the property.

© Tighe Architecture 2021

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