Constructed on a material budget of $2500, and built entirely by our office, this 1400 square feet loft serves as both our office and residence. Located in the American Cement Building just west of downtown Los Angeles, the primary spatial objective of the scheme is in celebrating the stunning views that are framed by the unique concrete lattice structure of the existing building (designed by Daniel Mann Johnson +Mendenhall in 1964). This is accomplished through the strategic positioning of large translucent fabric doors hung from a central architectural element that operates somewhere between the scale of furniture and architecture, serving as a partition between the public and private areas.
The partition and the large, lightweight doors fulfill a number of programmatic needs. The partition separates the open office and the living area from the bedroom and closet space. While in the open position, the large, operable doors allow for movement between the spaces, but prevent anyone passing the door from seeing the bed. The thickness of the partition, which varies across its length, contains storage shelves accessible from both sides, and it includes doors that open vertically and horizontally.
The project is constructed of inexpensive and readily available materials used in unconventional ways. Cabinetry is made from shop grade birch plywood, and countertops are made from the sanded and finished underside of cementitious panels typically used below bathroom tiles. The door fabric, which is designed to be changed over time, is made from translucent material more commonly used for inexpensive dress making.
The budgetary constraints of the project required extreme resourcefulness that included everything from material selection to the incorporation of scrap materials in the scheme. The scheme consists primarily of shop grade birch plywood and wood studs, both of which were rigorously considered in order to minimize material usage.