The Edgewater Residence is an addition and remodel in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Designed for the co-founder of Giant Robot Magazine, Martin Wong, his wife Wendy, and their daughter, the 300 square foot addition is attached to a small house as a statement - a building 'prosthesis' which assists to reimagine the existing residence and grounds, reformulating relationships between old and new, inside and outside, and those of the urban and domestic.
The addition employs formal references to nearby buildings and local urban characteristics both important and commonplace, including: The sloping embankments of the Silver Lake Reservoir, Richard Neutra's own VDL Resarch House, an auto body shop, the Astro Family Restaurant and Coffee Shop. This associative array of local urban phenomena inflect the formal and functional directions of the new addition, acting as an 'urban-selfie' and expanding the dialogue of the small addition beyond a strictly private domesticity.
Enveloped in a 'v-beam' metal cladding, the addition fuses a new kitchen and family room, joined together by a transforming butcher block threshold. Both rooms open out to adjacent yards and to the temperate Southern California climate. Rising above the family room, a clerestory window provides additional height, natural light, and ventilation. Its form looms over the ridge of the existing house, peaks out to the street, and triggers a visual juxtaposition of the old and new.
Behind an existing carport of dog-eared fence panels, a projected canopy acutely peels away from the existing profile of the house. Inspired by a nearby Googie restaurant, the canopy offers an unexpected gesture to visitors and prioritizes the side entry for parties and events. Underneath, the canopy is skinned in transparent polycarbonate panels, appearing high-tech, and allows visibility to the fundamentally low-tech wood-framed construction within. This wood is painted silver, a reference to Richard Neutra's signature use of silver paint on wood, both an alternative solution to the metals limitations of his time and an endearing aspiration to 'dematerialize' fundamentally solid things.
Location: Los Angeles, CA, US
Additional Credits: Photography by Josh White