mar vista backyard

In designing the backyard, intimacy was a key theme throughout. We wanted to maintain the feeling of it being secluded in its own world and still create sections within it without the space feeling like it was segregated into various functional areas. In order to achieve this, we used organic forms. We used the pre-existing geometry of the house to create lines that would demarcate these different spaces. We started molding from the ground up to create these walls that would taper back into the ground.

The intervention of the backyard space encompassed a 530 sqft large raised trex deck that connects all the various elements together, the bbq area/firepit area and the jacuzzi spa area. The palate is composed of natural materials to complement the organic forms. The terrace is paved with stone, inviting people to walk barefoot to the “spa” if they desired. In the spa is a hot tub and a shower, we tried to bring as much of the Japanese onsen into this project. A wooden slatted structure, spanning over 18 feet, was designed to house the jacuzzi with ample space to walk around within the enclosure. This also makes it porous as a form of shade, to add transparency and also to create a differentiation in the lights and shadows that will be formed knowing that this area will get the full cycle of the sun.

The grilling area is a space that is to be used for entertaining. A custom cast in place concrete form was designed to house the grill. This concrete then extends in a curvilinear manner demarcating a new space that becomes the fire pit zone with an added wooden bench that wraps around an organic formed firepit. This area is able to accomodate plenty more people where we imagine people congregating as the night gets cooler. Connected to the grilling area is a counter made out of natural emerald quartzite that waterfalls down on both edges, it is the one element that adds contrast to the muted colors in the space while still looking organic, like it belonged.

The kitchen and dining area opens up into the backyard. We wanted to make sure there was a continuity and direct connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces. Given the climate of LA, it makes it very much possible to dine alfresco all year long and we imagined many of those for the family, circling around the fire pit, lights off, with it being the only source of light.