170 holiday gift ideas


"Light is an architectural material, equally important as others," says Lorcan O'Herlihy of Culver City-based Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects, who designed a tight, but sun-catching cube of 10 contemporary condominiums on a side street off Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood.

The 1,300- to 1,700-square-foot condos are built around a U-shaped central courtyard. Four units are on the first and second levels and two penthouses on the third level. Each has windows or doors on three sides with views of the sky; a courtyard water sculpture, below; and, because this is an urban setting, alleys and nearby buildings.

To capture as much sunlight as possible, O'Herlihy used light-filtering materials. Steel catwalks that connect front doors on the levels above the courtyard are perforated to allow streams of sunlight into the complex and into the homes.

Translucent walls of industrial Profilit Channel Glass encase the vertical stairwell at the front of the building.

At night, the lighted stairwell looks like a lantern. Next to it, a cedar entrance gate veils residents from passersby on the sidewalk, but inch gaps between the slats illuminate the courtyard.

The condos, which were developed by Richard Loring of Habitat Group Los Angeles, sold on average for $670,000 before construction was completed in December.

Future project: A 19-unit building adjacent to the Schindler House, now the MAK Center, on Kings Road in West Hollywood will have a courtyard, pedestrian-inviting setback with benches and light wells on the top of the three levels that open up to the sky and bring light into each unit.

-- J.E.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • MISSION MERIDIAN: Going for the Gold Line

    "Alot of people fear density because there are a lot of terrible, overly dense projects in Los Angeles," says Elizabeth Moule of Pasadena-based Moule & Polyzoides Architects and Urbanists. "Making slightly denser places around transit lines is a way to accommodate the growth to L.A. that...

  • THE CRESCENT: It's valet all the way

    "ThIs is all about livable cities with the focus on the street, actually the sidewalk," says Johannes Van Tilburg, above, of Santa Monica-based Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh, whose new complex is the first apartment building constructed in Beverly Hills in 25 years.

  • HAROLD WAY: Private but public housing

    "THERE are no hidden corners here," says Brian Lane, left, of Koning Eizenberg Architecture in Santa Monica. He wrestled with a tight budget, ignored the pitfall of designing bland affordable housing and found ways to make 51 apartments near a busy intersection off Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood...

  • Institute for Art and Olfaction elevates the scents
    Institute for Art and Olfaction elevates the scents

    An artful take on Caprese salad — half circles of heirloom tomato, watermelon triangles and mozzarella orbs decorated with violets, caviar-like beads of balsamic vinegar and walnut-pesto dressing — is punctuated by a bright lemon grass aroma with undertones of rhubarb and guava....

  • 25 homemade holiday gift recipes: Chocolate bouchons
    25 homemade holiday gift recipes: Chocolate bouchons

    The perfect gift for the chocolate lover: bouchons. Thomas Keller's recipe for bouchons is built with a cup of cocoa powder and 6 ounces of chopped chocolate -- and twice that amount of melted butter. The bouchons turn out of their tins like oversize thimbles, with a texture that falls...

  • Fashion forward: A look at likely trends for 2015
    Fashion forward: A look at likely trends for 2015

    With new designer debuts and trends reshaping how we buy and what we wear, here are a few predictions for what to expect in the fashion universe in 2015.

  • 2014 in fashion: Hello, North West; goodbye, Oscar de la Renta; and more
    2014 in fashion: Hello, North West; goodbye, Oscar de la Renta; and more

    Whether you're counting hits or misses, 2014 certainly left a mark fashion-wise. From the runways to the red carpets to the slopes of Sochi, it was an endless parade of see-through dresses, ugly Olympic sweaters, cool cats in extra-large hats and just about one of everything wearable in...

  • Beauty trends for 2015: New products for hair, nails, skin
    Beauty trends for 2015: New products for hair, nails, skin

    Nail varnishes that stay on for at least a week, intensive hand-held skin cleansing systems, dry sprays, organic everything and brands that originated in other countries: These are predicted to be the hottest beauty trends for 2015.