First offering: A Yale School of Architecture graduate, and early adopter of passive solar design, Nicolais has created a late noteworthy addition in the modernist enclave of Silver Lake: With its exterior massing and complex interior space, there is a studied reference to Rudolph Schindler, including the residence’s furniture which Nicolais crafted in the lower level workshop. This celebration of historic solutions to “Building the Slope” allows the house to fit comfortably, and almost anonymously into the context of the neighborhood. Even in plain sight, there is privacy. Careful siting of the house allows for dramatic vistas of the downtown skyline. The volume of the public area is enlivened with an integration of space, both vertically and horizontally, that flows out to daring cantilevered decks utilized for outdoor dining and relaxation. The hillside, landscaped as a sculpture garden, is designed to be seen from the view decks above, adding a foreground to the vista.
The residence includes: A formal entry, powder room, open plan living and dining areas, library/tv room, Master bedroom and bath, guest bedroom and bath, laundry, an attached two-car garage, and a full floor workshop which can be converted into additional living space. The property connects through a lower gate to the 100-year-old Effie “Howl” public stairway that includes a playful neighborhood art project.