Morgan Phoa Library and Residence

Morgan Phoa Library and Residence

Private Houses
4519 Cockerham Drive, Los Angeles, CA, USA - Build completed in 2015
Morgan Phoa Library and Residence
SPF:architects as Architects

Located in the Los Feliz area of greater Los Angeles, this project was a rare opportunity to restore and build onto a historically designated property originally designed by Wallace Neff in the 1920s.


Work included the interior renovation of the family room, restoring the ceiling archways and demolishing its north facing wall for a new entry way. A carefully designed palette of hardscape introduced a balanced outdoor area, and a pool addition, lined with tiles from the historic Jackling House, designed by George Washington Smith and once owned by Steve Jobs, gave reason to further enjoy the southern California climate.


A new two-story building, consisting of a garage on its first level and a private library on the second level, includes storage, a reading area and a powder room. The building addition’s most distinct feature is its metal screen façade. The screens open like shutters for clear views of the property, and when shut, allows for privacy, sun shading and environmental control.


The screen panels are made of bronze anodized aluminum – water jet cut for a precise and patterned variable apertures, referencing the original home’s precast concrete window grilles. Although this is a contemporary design for the historic site, the building’s form and exterior materials match the historic home.