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Modern Barn House
Santa Monica, CA


Mark Rios
Huay Wee
Sebastian Salvadó
Carolyn Sumida
Alissa Hisoire
Elisa Read


A studio executive hired us to remodel this 1930s Cliff May ranch house, retaining its knockout canyon views, while simplifying its hodgepodge of architectural styles. We loved the orientation and sense of tallness about the original, but saw the need to improve its meandering circulation and awkward allocation of space.

Our plan streamlined the exterior facades, creating a monochromatic contrast to the surrounding bright green lawns. Enlarging windows and adding glass doors encouraged both light and people to flow through the house. An innovative brise soleil provides privacy, as well as constant interplay between shadow and light.

Stone and wood floors unite the indoor and outdoor spaces. They begin in the porte cochere, cross over a reflecting pool, enter the house through the dramatic double-height main
entry, and wrap around the back patios and decks overlooking the pool and the nearby golf course. Skylights notched out of the steeply pitched roof add to the feeling of unbounded space. A long central corridor runs the length of the building, bringing light from one end of the residence to another. The aluminum rails of the sculptural staircase continue into the second floor office. This lofty aerie boasts exceptional views of the interior public spaces on the first floor as well as the exterior entryway, the motor court, and the Santa Monica Mountains.

We relocated the once-cramped master suite so that it overlooks the pool, leaving space for his-and-her dressing rooms and a luxurious master bathroom. We also turned a former garage into a state-of-the-art screening room, complete with a full-service bar. You can read more about the house in the February, 2015 issue of Architectural Digest.