February 1, 2013

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

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

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