Los Angeles, California
In his own 1952 home, Cliff May — father of the California ranch-house movement — designed an open-plan space divisible by movable walls and cabinets. By the 1980s, subsequent owners had filled the house with permanent partitions and drop ceilings, creating a dim warren. Engaged to remodel the residence, Marmol Radziner sought to recapture the spirit and spatial flow of the original rather than to impose a 21st-century aesthetic. “We took it as an opportunity to learn from the past, trying not to inject too much of our own hand,” says principal Ron Radziner.
Opening up the kitchen was a logical move toward reinstituting the home’s social quality. After removing interior walls and replacing asphalt floor tiles with polished concrete, the architects installed clean-lined walnut cabinets and an 11 1⁄2-foot-long island that — while fixed in place — recalls May’s notion of furniture as flexible boundary.
The master bath was enlarged by borrowing space from an adjacent bedroom. Full-height walnut cabinets complement the grain and color of the existing post-and-beam structure. Small, out-of-scale windows were replaced with oversize glass planes, etched for privacy. It is here that the sanctuary aspect of the home is expressed in the most personal way while still maintaining what Radziner calls the “core values” of the ranch.
Sink faucet, tub filler: