In front, still the look of an English cottage. In back, two roomy new gabled wings Essay

House of seven gables? Almost. The existing gables at the front ofthis 1920s-vintage house in West Los Angeles provided the inspirationfor a way to organize an addition at the back.

Owners Dorothy andThomas Hines wanted to add two children’s bedrooms and, off themaster bedroom, a new porch, without violating the house’sEnglish-cottage character. Santa Monica architect Barton Phelps used the gable forms as a wayto separate the children’s new wing from the porch. One gablecovers the new lattice-browed, southwest-facing porch and extends partof the roof line beyond one end of the master bedroom. In SouthernCalifornia’s benign climate, this screened porch is usable most ofthe year. The other gable caps the new bedroom wing.

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Stacking the bedroomsto form a two-story tower and turning them 45 [deg.] allowed Phelps topreserve most of the back garden. The angle increase the impressionthat this is a separate structure, giving the children the feeling ofbeing off in their own little cottage. Inside are two differently shaped rooms for two independentpersonalities: octagonal below for the boy, rectangular above for thegirl.

The corners of the upper bedroom cantilever 2 feet over the lowerroom. The tower’s windows face away from the porch, preservingprivacy for both children and parents. Phelps remodeled thechildren’s former tiny rooms into one open study, which doubles asthe entrance to the tower. Between the two new gables lies a small outdoor landing with stepsangling down to the garden.

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