GARFIELD RESIDENCE

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE, CA - 2008

The goal of the Garfield Residence project was to update a cottage style ranch home, built in the 1970’s, and give it a modern contemporary look and feel, as well as to add a master bedroom suite. The Garfield home sits on a beautiful 15,000 square foot property, full of mature cedar and oak trees that filter the late afternoon sun into an array of speckled shadows. The layout of the existing home neither embraced the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape or the unique quality of the light in this area. Structurally, the existing home was defined by a middle pitched roof, decorated with cottage style embellishments.


For this contemporary remodel, (fer) studio’s approach was to open up as much of the existing house as possible, both internally to adjacent rooms, and externally to the spectacular landscape of the expansive property. On the exterior of the home, (fer) studio focused the design approach around the existing pitched roof condition. A new smooth plaster finish was applied to the existing exterior walls of the home and the front portion of the house was replaced with full height glazing, both to emphasize the triangular pitch of the existing roof-line and to embrace the golden light and natural landscape of this foothill neighborhood. Matching smooth plaster privacy walls were built to create a new courtyard arrival space at the front of the home and provide a notion of invitation off the street.


On the interior, again working up the home’s A-frame shape, (fer) studio raised the ceilings of the foyier at the front door, the adjacent dining room, living room and kitchen to follow the center roof line. Next, the wall that had previously separated the dining room from the living room was partially removed to create a clear sight line all the way from the entry court and glazed front exterior, through all the interior spaces and finally to the rear garden and pool area at the back of the house. This sight line through the home reinforces the primary axis of the pitched roof line, and introduces natural daylight and views into all the interior spaces along the central spine.


The kitchen was also opened up to the living room by reorienting it, raising the ceiling to match the sloped roof above, and adding a large central skylight and small breakfast nook. Like the front of the home, the rear walls, off the kitchen and main living area, were removed and replaced with glass to bring the outdoors in. The new kitchen has a bi-fold steel and glass window that doubles as a bar and pass-through to the rear patio. The living room has a full height bi-fold glazed wall, which can retract to open completely into a new sunken patio space, complete with a custom fire pit and wood bench seating surround. When the rear bi-fold wall of the home is open, the size of the main living area more than doubles, as it seamlessly combines with the sunken patio room, and pool area beyond. New circulation, a pool deck and cabana were built to integrate the existing pool with the rest of the remodeled property.


New skylights and finishes were introduced into two of the three existing bedrooms. The third bedroom, formerly the master, was reconfigured into a generous laundry room and walk-in closet. The new master bedroom suite addition was built at the rear of the home around a new exterior courtyard, off the larger living room patio. This includes siting the front entry court and back patio under a canopy of deciduous trees, to provide light and warmth in the winter months and cool shade in the warm La Canada summers; and the North-South axis of the glass clearstories and glazed walls maximize natural daylighting throughout the interior spaces, eliminating the need for artificial lighting during the day.

Typology Residence
Project type Remodel & Expansion
client George & Patty Garfield
size 3,500 SF
status Completed

Team

Structural Engineer JN Engineering
Construction Manager Miller and Sons Construction
Photography Jack Coyier