10 Questions With… Dan Brunn
Born in Tel Aviv, Dan Brunn came to Los Angeles with his family when he was just seven years old. Yet he still holds vivid early memories of his Bauhaus-rich native city enhanced by his many visits over the years. “The White City” architecture profoundly influences his work, always layered, always contemporary. Projects, many award-winning, span the spectrum: from retail and a restaurant to a showroom and, of course, residential. Some furniture, too. And he’s not yet 40.
Brunn earned BA and MA degrees in architecture from the University of Southern California and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. He was lead project designer at John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects prior to establishing Dan Brunn Architecture in 2005.
Stay tuned—Brunn will take over the @interiordesignmag Instagram account on September 6.
ID: How did Tel Aviv influence your work?
DB: My childhood home had terrazzo floors, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, an open floor plan, and all of the staples featured in my residential design to date. I’ve seen the city profoundly evolve. It’s international with amazing culinary institutions and, of course, a strong design lineage.
ID: You do a lot of work in LA. How does this city influence your work?
DB: Moving to LA, I admired mid-century classic architects such as Richard Neutra, Craig Ellwood, and Pierre Koening, who taught at USC while I was studying there. I’ve been able to push some boundaries and blur lines between interior and exterior. LA is still a young and striving metropolitan city.
ID: What made you want to become an architect?
DB: I’ve wanted to be an architect since the age of seven when I’d play with Legos. It was that or a musician.
ID: Where did the musician come from?
DB: As a kid, my parents played a lot of Beatles and I’d sing to the songs even though I didn’t speak English at the time. My mom plays piano so I took lessons. Later I picked up the guitar, and that changed everything for me. I began writing music and formed a number of bands.
ID: Tell us about Bone Structure, the innovative system you’re using to build your new house in west LA.
DB: Essentially, it’s a life-sized erector set with posts and beams fabricated at a factory, delivered to the site, and assembled using screws. The end result is an all-steel structure with no waste.
ID: What are a few recent projects/products?
DB: We just completed the boutique Road to Awe. Coffee for Sasquatch, our first coffee shop, is slated to open in September. I recently renovated a mid-century house by Edward Fickett for Pharrell’s manager, Caron Veazey. Upcoming is a courtyard house in the Hollywood Hills. The Hedy Bench is a just-launched, limited edition art piece.
ID: Which project/product are you most proud of and why?
DB: It would have to be Flip Flop House, my first beach house. I was young and took a lot of risks. It’s the project that started my career.
ID: Latest design obsession?
DB: Wrapping spaces in wood.
ID: Latest interiors pet peeve?
DB: The faux industrial look. All of a sudden everything looks like a warehouse.
ID: Favorite paint color?
ID: Picture books or Pinterest?
DB: Really dislike Pinterest, but love books and Instagram.
ID: Most recently downloaded app?
DB: Mixer, it’s a private network for creatives.
ID: Most admired historic interior?
DB: I’m obsessed with the Miller House by Alexander Girard.
Celebrating Alexander Girard’s birthday, we look at the Miller Residence by architect Eero Saarinen. Alexander is the man responsible for the exquisite interiors and awesome array of color. The design principles herein are still what we follow at DBA today. A clean space of white and well throughout natural light, with splashes of color throughout. . . Check out @modarchitecture feed, he was lucky enough to visit and take these awesome photos. . . #modern #alexandergirard #architecture #interiordesign #interior
ID: Dream commission?
DB: Museum or spiritual space.
ID: Best thing about your job?
DB: I get to make people’s lives better on a daily basis. I feel so lucky to have my dreams come true.