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Light Box

Light Box

Extruded window frame and extended outdoor space atop the concrete deck.
Jim Welch and Andrew Durham

LA-based Predock_Frane are in the process of transforming a claustrophobic and nondescript stucco residence in the middle of Venice into a luminous white box with a twist, called 4th House. The architects implanted the home and studio with countless other white boxes, creating a textured, spacious, three-dimensional tapestry that takes perfect advantage of its site.

Frane’s 1,500-square-foot home has a simple white face, which floats over a raised concrete slab and copious native vegetation, with three protruding steel cubes: one in front of the doorway, creating an effective delineation between inside and out; and two in front of the windows, creating a sitting bench and a daybed.

  
Large glass doors open to The back yard featuring a Japanese soaking tub and bocce ball court (left). In the dining/kitchen area, custom-designed lacquered white cabinetry is minimal and efficient, off-set by art and Frank Gehry chairs (center, right).
 

Inside, squares are everywhere, conserving space, providing illumination, expanding the envelope’s surface, and even encouraging breezes. In the open-plan kitchen and living room they form a bar, an island, stream-lined cabinetry, and an enormous skylight, supplemented with edgy contemporary art. A large window behind the kitchen leads the eye toward a small side garden. In the bathroom, another huge skylight also connects to the bedroom, providing each room with warm light.

Large, square glass doors at the rear draw your eye to the oasis-like backyard, formerly for parking and storage. This textured yard is divided into squares for a bocce ball court, a pebble garden/dining area, and a Japanese soaking tub. The garage has been turned into the firm’s office, another amply skylit space that is sure to make other architects jealous.


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