Today we toured 5 houses in Venice. Overall, the quality of construction of these projects was inferior to the houses we saw yesterday in Santa Monica. This isn’t surprising, considering the calibre of the neighborhoods, however the cost of construction for these homes was not significantly different on a square foot basis. By the end of the day, our group couldn’t figure out what accounted for the difference.
The first house was the Sharkey Residence. The front bedroom on the second floor was quite lovely with windows starting at about 5 feet above the floor and extending to the sloped ceiling. This served two purposes: providing total privacy in the bedroom without having to sacrifice natural light. It also blocked views of the unattractive neighboring houses but allowed views of tree tops and the beautiful southern California sky.
My favorite project of the day was the AK Live Work townhouses by Sant Architects. These are 4 townhouses situated above retail stores in what would normally be a classic infill project. From the moment I started walking up the Ipe wood steps with the wonderfully crafted matching handrail, I knew this project was going to be special. I wasn’t let down. While basically, it’s a clean white box, the details were what made the difference. Integrated planters on all the terraces (and there are many of these), recessed baseboards and simple cabinetry all nicely detailed were memorable.