RUSTIC CANYON MINIMALISM
Marmol-Radziner’s residential project, the Ward Residence, speaks volumes about urban landscape design, modern architecture and the International style. The 4000 square-foot Rustic Canyon residence is a stunning contemporary nod to modern architecture, and, although beautifully unique, is recognizably reminiscent of Philip Johnson’s Glass House (1949), Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House (1945- 51), and, most notably, Richard Neutra’s Kaufman Desert House (1946), the latter of which was carefully renovated by the Marmol-Radziner firm in the nineteen-nineties.
Like the Kaufman Desert House, the Ward Residence is perfectly attuned with its environment, taking subtle cues from both the natural landscape and the more subtly controlled landscape design throughout. Situated amongst Rustic Canyon’s extraordinary variety of oaks, cedar, pine and eucalyptus, the landscape grows amongst the voluminous glass structures, surrounding the airy, tranquil site with dappled light, a tonality of texture and the grand subtleties of nature’s hue, all of which are carefully referenced in the interior design through quiet repetition. By utilizing glass, wood, burnished concrete block, and galvanized steel paneling in a variety of seamless applications, each material seems to reflect an element of the location as well as its natural counterpart amongst the architecture itself; even the polished ebony floor in the kitchen mirrors the light from the rectangular reflective pond and the lap pool beyond.
With an uninterrupted view across the courtyard from the interior spaces, an elegant glass walkway bridges two main pavilions, connecting the glass structures and maintaining the character of the centralized landscape. The interior joins the exterior in a visually subliminal play on form, creating separate yet unified spaces, both public and private; the public pavilion housing the living, dining and kitchen spaces, the private pavilion housing the bedrooms. Even in all its splendid openness there is an apparent intimacy to the Ward Residence. The inclusion of a gradual, skewed procession upon entrance reaches beyond the main residence to the cantilevered guesthouse. No detail, however small, is inconsequential in experiencing the beauty and function of the residence in its entirety.
Leo Marmol, Managing Principal and Ron Radziner, Lead Designer, continue to amaze, creating timeless, enduring design solutions with their unique, architectural identity. The design team’s careful and rigorous attention to detail remains evident in every aspect of their work. The prestigious Marmol-Radziner team addresses the past and the present with a focus on the modern prefabricated residence, sustainability, restoration and the continuation on a theme in forging strong connections between interior and exterior spaces. Their strength, innovation and dedication to architecture and design continues to surprise and delight; indeed, the Marmol-Radziner Ward Residence is truly a worthy celebration, a notably indicative illustration of their abundantly deserved accolades. Written by Heather McArtor, Photos by Ben Chang
MARMOL-RADZINER 2210 Nebraska Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90025 310.826.6222