Dan Brunn’s Pared-Down Yet Playful Sensibilities Shine at L.A. Coffee Shop
As a Lego-obsessed youngster in Israel, Dan Brunn wanted to be an architect—or maybe a rock star—when he grew up. Deeming the former more practical, he followed a straight-up path: BA and MA degrees in the discipline from the University of Southern California and Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, followed by two years as project designer for John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects. Since its 2005 inception, his eponymous firm, currently five strong, has complete a broad range of work, including a showroom/office for Caesarstone and seven residences, three of them multi-award winners. It all started with his first ground-up commission: Flip Flop house, a quasi-transparent Venice beachfront property whose owners took a chance on a just-licensed architect.
Though diverse, Brunn’s projects speak a common language: a pared-down Bauhaus idiom that he credits to his Tel Aviv roots. Yet they’re all detailed to the hilt. Take the 1,200-square-foot Coffee for Sasquatch, completed with an assist from project designer Monica Heiman, 29. Serpentine benches of terrazzo, Brunn’s favorite material, segue seamlessly into beech millwork and a solid surfacing pastry case; a custom powder-coated espresso machine shows the designer’s reach.
Up next? Six residences, among them Brunn’s own—built from a no-waste system of steel members—and a hulking poured-in-place concrete structure for his original client. He’s dubbed it “Positively Negative.”