The design of this hanging library creates a venue for the resident to share his art, art books, and artifacts with his friends, visitors, and cats. The owner’s condominium living room stands at 17-feet tall, a space that was once difficult to light, with cavernous corners, awkwardly obtuse angles, and a paucity of storage space. Now, each foot – vertical and horizontal – is accounted for, serving the owner’s multiple needs. Books, wine bottles, souvenirs, and utensils that once lay homeless on the floor now hang, cantilever, slide, and hide over and under visitors, creating a hyper-functional, multitiered space that liberates the client’s home from previous constraints.
Cantilevered shelves create brand new capacity for books; display space that hangs from rods in the ceiling allows the owner to remember his travels with clear distinction; cabinets on terra firma house cookbooks and utensils that free up kitchen space and double as serving surfaces. “Wine benches” allow the display of the owner’s fine wine collection underneath seated diners, instantly turning the client/connoisseur into sommelier. The shelves also frame a six-panel piece of Chinese, middle-era art, hung on wall space which was previously unreachable. The design has also exponentially increased the jungle gym space for Freddy and Maxie, the owner’s cats, while simultaneously displaying and hiding objects such as their kitty litter and toys.
Visual features of the design tie together previously disparate spaces and objects. Alignment with existing walls and windows is offset by cantilevers above which create a torque that frames the view onto a reservoir beyond. Flush cabinetry with an inlaid effect pulls the viewer’s eyes upward and down to connected bookshelf dividers. Geometries in the corners play with the radius of the track radius and spiral staircase behind, where a new reading space and increased privacy improve the loft space.
The design grew out of a collaboration between the owner and his friend of 20 years, the designer/architect. The architect’s knowledge of and affection for the client, including his cooking taste, artifact collection, intellectual pursuits, and a gregarious lifestyle full of laughter, steered the architect towards a bright, refreshing palate of geometries and uses.
Los Angeles, CA
630 SF Renovation
Lehrer Architects LA
Mike Collins Construction