Merit Award: Mid-Century Scene Stealer

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Located on a spectacular site, the remodel of this mid-century home makes the most of available views.

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Location: Los Angeles
Contractor: Matt Skinner, Elite Home Builders, Encino, Calif.
Designer: Dean Larkin, AIA, Dean Larkin Design, West Hollywood, Calif.
Interior designer: Franco Vecchio, Franco Vecchio Studio, Sherman Oaks, Calif.

“We spent a lot of time getting the house out of the way of the view,” says architect Dean Larkin, who couldn’t understand why the original home had been sited the way it was. “Most of the views from the windows were of nearby trees.”

Now the home has a 270-degree view of downtown Los Angeles. Everything but the kitchen and great room were relocated to take advantage of the scenery. The judges found the design “striking” and praised how it took full advantage of the beautiful city views.

Forms and materials pay homage to the site. “You get the first taste of this house from a mile away as you drive up Bel Air Canyon,” Larkin says. “The roofline sets the mood before you get to the property; it’s almost like a ship sailing off the edge of the canyon.” The home is designed in warm, natural tones. Exterior ledger stones approximate the color of the surrounding hillside. The motorcourt is cobblestone granite. “We attempted to grow the house out of the site,” Larkin says.

—Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.