ORA (Oonagh Ryan Architects Inc.)

ORA (Oonagh Ryan Architects Inc.) Diversity Badge

Female owned

Los Angeles, CA


Bookend House

Located blocks from the beach, the 4,820 square foot bookend house is a private compound with three distinct uses – a family home bookended by a guest house and a music studio.

The program mandated optimized site planning, functional relationships, circulation and access among the three uses to reduce the overall building size. Each use required separate access to give the family privacy in their home and garden while hosting long-term guests and daily visitors to the music studio.

Sustainable design strategies influenced by the local climate were required along with low-maintenance, natural finishes to limit resource use.

Informal living spaces housed in a wood and glass bar float over two submerged brick boxes containing the guest house and music studio. Strategically located to organize both indoor circulation and outdoor garden uses, the boxes’ heavy mass with punched openings playfully arranged to juxtapose scale, privacy, daylight and views, contrast the lightness and transparency of the wood bar above.

In response to the context and unique program, the long, narrow building form is oriented to capture westerly ocean breezes, utilizing an active passive cooling system. Glazing is minimized on south and west façades. To the east, deep overhangs and movable wood screens afford shade and privacy, while expansive glass openings take advantage of neighborhood landscape views.

A low-maintenance, drought resistant, native and adapted landscape design is implemented throughout, including topping the brick boxes with a green roof of native grasses connecting the landscape to second floor family spaces.

Read more

Status: Built
Location: Santa Monica, CA, US