Pro Portfolio: Steel and glass in a Covina family home


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Each Monday, we post a new home whose design is described in the architect’s or designer’s own words. This week:

Designer-builder: HartmanBaldwin Design/Build, Claremont; project architect, Patrick Szurpicki; project manager, Troy Coats; design/build consultant, Bill Judson


Interior design: Jeannine Clark, Mannigan Design, Pasadena

Project location: Covina

Project goal: to achieve complex spaces with large span window walls, cantilevered roof lines, exposed structural steel and curved structural walls.

Builders’ description: Linear architecture, exposed steel beams and floor-to-ceiling windows craft this home in the hills of Covina. The house is open and light and engages its natural hilltop setting. The project consisted of demolishing nearly the entire existing 3,400-square-foot home, built in 1978, in order to create a new 4,100-square-foot home with an open floor plan, large kitchen and family room that focuses on the views of the 2-acre property. This major renovation took nearly two years, with completion in April 2009. Unfortunately, the homeowner lost his three-year battle with multiple myeloma just two weeks after the groundbreaking. We expected the project would stop but were touched by the family’s commitment to seeing this home built to honor the husband and father whose dream it was to see it complete.

Keep reading to see more photos and details on the house . . .

Five-inch-thick glass block, set in a steel grid, lets light into the entry, where a cupboard replaces the traditional coat closet. Its drawers hold the family’s shoes and slippers. Maple flooring was used throughout the house; here, it’s set on the diagonal to help draw visitors inside.

The 800-square-foot family room, with panoramic views that stretch to downtown Los Angeles, serves as the home’s hub. The large fireplace is faced with limestone, and maple and cherry built-ins conceal the entertainment center. Remote-controlled windowshades counter glare and create a heat barrier.

The angular kitchen island has an almost sculptural presence, which was needed to give the space definition and scale in the large family room. The island’s dining area is topped with Silestone‘s Zen series, a quartz finish in a color called Unsui. The red pendant lights are by LBL Lighting.


The island design incorporates a limestone and maple-clad base cabinet. Jura gray limestone, DuPont‘s Zodiaq quartz surface in Caroli Red and cherrywood also were used as counters.

The custom barn door, inset with three small windows, slides to close off the dining room from the kitchen and family area. The porthole helps the room feel open and airy, and it complements the angles of the barn door.

Laminated glass doors shield the office from the rest of the house. The window seat does double duty, providing a spot to read as well as concealed storage.


In the master bath, opaque glass blocks in the deep brown and purple sandstone wall let light into the shower while maintaining privacy. The sandstone also was used on the tub deck and surround. Brushed-marble tiles were used on the floor and shower wall.

It’s a short stroll from the master bedroom, left, across the courtyard to the family area, at right. The courtyard was fashioned from the concrete slab underneath the sunken living room in the original house.

-- Anne Harnagel

Photos: Ryan Beck


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