Nowita Residence is a 1920s Venice beach bungalow on a pedestrian walk street that has evolved alongside the neighborhood. And because its owners are both architects, each subsequent addition has reflected prevailing attitudes about what makes for good design. Over the years, the home has expanded but has always maintained a ground floor footprint and massing relative to the surrounding neighborhood.
A second story addition doubled the home’s size from a cozy 600 sq. ft. to a more spacious 1,245 sq. ft.
The owners purchased the single-story bungalow next door and eliminated the fence between the two properties. The adjacent property’s spectacular 80-year-old Magnolia grandiflora tree became the focal point of the large yard in this urban neighborhood. The tree also dictated the home’s views and shade orientation.
A decade later, the owners expanded the original home yet again, adding a master suite over a new garage, a third bedroom, and a breakfast room off the kitchen. They also re-oriented the interior spaces on the ground floor to address the new communal garden.
The second floor addition is surrounded by 34 wood columns, each cantilevering out from the garage’s shear walls. In addition to shading and framing views from the bedroom, each 4×12 is calculated to bear the vertical gravity load and the lateral earthquake load
Architecture once sought transparency of means; a later generation asked for relationships. The home reflects both of these noble causes, making its owners good neighbors, and honest ones too.