Location: Malibu, California, US
Architects: Bestor Architecture
Photography: © Laure Joliet
On a large, flat property with a lawn that stretches to a fruit orchard the clients discovered ramshackle structures (a three-bedroom house with a few loosely connected guest cottages) in need of repair. Their goal, rather than tear down the buildings, was to unite and logically connect what had become a hodgepodge of nondescript buildings.
The owners, who had known architect Barbara Bestor, for years worked on a plan that would renovate all the buildings but in a cohesive, beach style. Barbara would do all the architecture, and the owner oversaw the interiors, collaborating closely with her team. The main house was formerly closed off and had small rooms. It did not connect to the outside. Barbara’s solution was to raise the middle portion of the house, creating an entirely new great room, with radiant flooring, that opened up completely to the terrace and lawn. She then inverted the standard gabled roof, creating a butterfly shape that brings in natural light and air.
The indoor-outdoor living concept is embraced and enhanced by the addition of skylights and clerestory windows and bringing the exterior walls’ board-and-batten treatment inside. The same upholstery fabrics were used for indoor built-ins and outdoor cushions. All custom cabinetry was designed by Bestor Architecture.
All images courtesy of Bestor Architecture| © Laure Joliet
Barbara Bestor, FAIA is founding principal of Bestor Architecture. Since 1995, Bestor Architecture has actively redefined Los Angeles architecture with a practice that rigorously engages the city through design, art, and urbanism. Increasingly, the firm applies L.A.’s lessons to national undertakings. She explores the architectural form through experiments in spatial arrangements, graphics, and color, which is evident in her projects from custom residences to headquarters for international companies. Her varied and progressive body of work connects with people on many levels, often outside the boundaries traditionally delineated for architecture. She believes that good design creates an engaged urban life and embraces the ‘strange beauty’ that enhances everyday life experience.
Barbara’s career is punctuated with inventive projects in a wide breadth of typologies. She has designed new ways of creating accessible urbanism in her “stealthy density” Blackbirds housing, groundbreaking retail and restaurant flagships, dynamic workspaces for Beats By Dre and Snap, award-winning experimental residences and pioneering arts projects that are deeply rooted in their communities and cultural context.
While maintaining a practice, Barbara has continuously taught at Southern California’s leading design schools from SCI-Arc to Woodbury University, where she is currently the executive director of the Julius Shulman Institute. She received her undergraduate degree at Harvard University, studied at the Architecture Association in London and received a MARCH at SCI-Arc. She is the author of Bohemian Modern, Living in Silver Lake.
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