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Once boxy and dark, it now gets daylight everywhere.

How do you break up boxiness without breaking up the box? That was the problem addressed in remodeling this 20- by 28-foot two-story house, a squarish collection of dark and tiny rooms in the Rustic Canyon section of Los Angeles. An infusion of natural light and an illusion of roominess were the prime goals.

To keep costs down (the 1982 remodel cost $50,000), Santa Monica architect Robert Taylor retained the house's original perimeter walls and concentrated on scooping out interior walls to create new volumes of space. On the ground floor, he was able to replace some interior walls with posts, so kitchen and stairway both open to the living room. For additional support, he installed cross-bracing rods across the south windows.

Desiring a single dramatic sweep of space, Taylor allowed one corner of the living room to soar the full two-story height of the house. A bedroom suite with enclosed bathroom occupies the rest of the second floor, wrapping around the open space with a railed balcony. This two-story well of space lets plenty of daylight filter down from a big zigzagging skylight above the stairway (part can be seen in the photograph at right) as well as from two other skylights directly overhead.

The architect replaced the original flat roof with a hip roof. It is strengthened by a pair of steel rods that run from corner to corner, leaving the floor-to-ceiling view unobstructed.
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Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Apr 1, 1984
Words:237
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