Scott M B Gustafson

Scott M B Gustafson

Ann Arbor, MI, US


MDR Residence

Our client, a young single professional man, purchased a condominium near the ocean on the west side Los Angeles just south of the famed Venice Beach area. The home deeper than it is wide and is organized on several levels. The master suite on the lower floor and the living above are the only areas which take advantage of the full depth. The guest bathroom, the den and the office are all on intermediate levels that step up through the great volume of the main living space.

The home was originally built several decades and ago and has had some intermittent period-distinct renovations that detract from the overall enjoyment. Specifically the master bathroom has fixtures and finishes last seen in the Disco era and a poorly organized closet and dressing area. The main staircase up from the living from features a stainless steel handrail in a heavily brushed finish and the kitchen is cramped and difficult to use. Our challenge was to bring a consistent material palette to the home and thematically link the various levels into an overall atmosphere while solving the practical challenges.

Conceptually we thought of ribbon of material to tie the various rooms and levels together. We choose a warm dark wood such as walnut to represent the ribbon and used it as floor, wall and ceiling covering and as a screen on the staircase. As a second unifying element we propose refinishing the fireplace block in aubergine venetian plaster, a favorite color of the client. Lastly taking advantage of the large wall on the south side of the home, we propose a supergraphic wallpaper. This image is seen from multiple rooms in the home and creates different experiences based on the way the view is framed. In a city known for its horizontality, a vertically organized home is rare and we celebrate the spatial potential it offers.

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Status: Unbuilt
Location: Marina del Rey, CA, US
My Role: Co-designer
Additional Credits: Paul San Gemino