Contemporary Renovation in Santa Monica, California
by Jayme Catalano, marketing, NanaWall
Located in the mountains of Santa Monica, California, Haig Youredjian’s residence was left untouched for more than 25 years. Designed and completed by the firm Buff, Smith and Hensman in 1990, the home exhibited a strong aesthetic vision that had withstood the test of time. It was very important to the Youredjian family to preserve the original architects’ vision for the home, and very little was structurally necessary to achieve that goal. In planning the renovation, the family decided to do a complete cosmetic overhaul, including floors, windows, doors, cabinetry, and lighting. The family chose Kip Kelly, AIA, of Nest Architecture, Inc., Culver City, California, to spearhead the project.
A signature cantilever feature created a new entrance to the home and increased the outdoor living space by 2,000 sq.ft. Originally, the living room was an indoor/outdoor patio but, in order to maximize interior space, the patio was enclosed using opening NanaWall glass wall systems and glass fixtures. The outdoor living space was expanded considerably by cantilevering several steel beams off the north end of the backyard. The expansion allowed for a new covered patio, a sunken fire pit, and a seating area overlooking the Southern California landscape.
The original architects celebrated the home’s jetliner views of the San Fernando Valley and Universal Studios beyond. Kelly took this a step further to include large-opening glass NanaWall systems throughout the home to maximize these views and integrate the outdoors in. Bedrooms, living rooms, bathrooms, and the kitchen all open up to the outside, allowing complete integration of the indoor/outdoor living experience so well-suited to the mild Southern California climate.
The Youredjian Residence presented Nest Architecture, Inc., unique opportunities to capitalize on the area’s comfortable climate. “The original 60’s-era modernist home included a ground-floor, open-air, covered living area that connected the front and rear gardens,” explains Kelly. “The Youredjians desired to enclose the area to minimize the airborne dust and provide security, but also wanted to maintain the ability to open the room up to the back yard. Our solution was a NanaWall frameless folding glass wall system.” When in a closed position, the full-height bi-fold glass panels from NanaWall offer security and protection from the elements while still providing maximum visual connection into the garden. When slid to one side, the entire room opens to the pool area.
On the side of the house, the existing dining room opened up to a small patio through standard sliding-glass doors. Though the glass ran wall to wall, the maximum opening was less than 1/2 the width of the room. By introducing a NanaWall folding-glass system that allows the clients to completely open the dining room to the outdoors, both spaces feel larger.
Upstairs, the master bedroom commands panoramic views of the San Fernando Valley. In the original design, bulky sliding-glass doors led out to a very narrow balcony. The doors provided access, but because of the minimal width of the balcony and the heaviness of the panels, the space was rarely used. Taking a cue from downstairs, Nest Architecture, Inc., proposed a NanaWall bi-fold door system that not only runs across the entire master bedroom, but also incorporates the master bathroom. The floor-to-ceiling glass panels make the once diminutive suite much larger and, when open, provide unrivaled views of the northern city lights.
Youredjian was heavily involved in the renovation design process. “We bought the home with the intention of a simple and quick makeover, since in the real estate world, the home was considered fairly new, having its original construction completed in 1990,” he explains. “Due to the significance of the property, we wanted to honor the architect’s original vision while upgrading the home to reflect the beauty and functionality of a contemporary home. All fixtures and finishes were created custom for the residence and required very long lead times and very special installation preparation.
“We envisioned a home that captured its location and jaw-dropping views from the moment you entered its doors. We really were very adamant about not hindering any portion of this view and decided early on in this project that we will preserve and incorporate every outdoor space and sightline.” With the help of seven NanaWall systems, the Youredjians are able to celebrate the integration of indoor and outdoor while enjoying the stunning views of Southern California.