All Grown Up: LA Architects' Home Undergoes Round Two of Renovations

PROJECT NAME Architects' Home Addition
LOCATION Los Angeles
FIRM Rios Clementi Hale Studios
SQ. FT. 2,200 SQF

When we last encountered Frank Clementi and Julie Smith-Clementi, they had updated their 1920’s Venice bungalow and added a second floor, doubling its size to 1,200 square feet. Their daughter Emilia was 2; she’s now 16. Their second daughter, Nina, is 10, and the architects, co-principals at Rios Clementi Hale Studios, have expanded anew.

They have built a three-car garage and capped it with a proper master suite, complete with an en suite bathroom, a walk-in closet, and suspended fireplace that swivels to warm both the room and its adjoining deck. “The girls were sharing a bedroom, and we all shared the one bathroom,” Smith-Clementi says of what necessitated the addition, which brings the current total square footage to 2,200. The garage and kitchen are joined by a breezeway, which is topped by part of the family room and a whole new bedroom.

In terms of scale and recessive color palette, the addition’s interior continues the modernist aesthetic of the original bungalow. Yet its exterior is eye-popping to say the least. The couple surrounded three of its second-floor facades with a palisade of 34 18-foot-long Douglas fir structural beams that are down right sculptural. "It’s my tree fort,” states Clementi.

Acquiring the adjacent lot, the Clementis also tweaked the open-plan ground floor to capitalize on the expanded setting. Moving the front door and pulling back the stairway opened sight lines. The kitchen, once central, was relocated to a rear corner, freeing space for a breakfast nook, a full-height storage unit that incorporates the staircase, and sliding glass doors behind the living-area fireplace, newly clad in blackened steel. Speaking of cladding, the maple flooring is now concrete tile. It carries through to the three new patios for a cohesive ground plane.

Project Team
ML Smith Landscape Design: Landscaping Consultant. Integrated Energy Technologies: Audio Visual Consultant. Gordon L. Polon: Structural Engineer. Custom Interior Design: Woodwork. Scanlon Construction: General Contractor