Los Angeles has changed a great deal in the 21st century. Neighborhoods that are highly walkable and rich in restaurants and pedestrians compete with the famed Hollywood Hills as the most desirable place to live – a transformation all but unimaginable in the 1980s. Such a neighborhood, straddling the sawtooth border of West Hollywood with Los Angeles, is exactly where architects modative designed and built the Bento Box small-lot subdivision, completed in 2015.
Supermarkets, florists, and a gourmet dog food emporium; coffee shops, elegant restaurants and specialized fitness studios abound mere blocks from the site. Yet, tucked away on a residential street and behind a hedge, this vertical Modernist row-house is surprisingly tranquil and protected. Even the open plan second floor, with kitchen, living and dining enjoys a sunny, open tree-top view south towards Wilshire. Two bedrooms are just above the main living floor, where the primary en suite bath with sleek contemporary finishes has double sinks, a shower and a large bathtub.
The signature space of the house is the rooftop third bedroom with full bath; or is that a daylight office and nighttime cocktail lounge with outdoor fireplace? Its disappearing walls of glass open east towards Downtown Los Angeles and west towards Century City; the rooftop decks have open views east, south, southwest and even north to the Hollywood Hills. Here the architecture erases not just the boundary between indoors and outdoors but succeeds in blurring the divide between wide-open sky and earthbound structure. Two car garage off the shared auto court (the only common element; no HOD, no board) with Tesla electric car charger.