Rising up from a formerly vacant lot on busy Silver Lake Boulevard, the house is an attempt to reconcile the needs of the working artist with those of the domestic mass mass-marketplace. Initially conceived as a loft space, the project seeks to question the traditional notions of domesticity coupled with the contemporary requirements of the home studio. For the designer, John Southern, the home simultaneously represents a space of play and a space of work. While the spaces can be perceived as more private the further one moves into the house, the overall layout of the project allows for maximum flexibility on both levels of occupation. In short the house is a constantly shifting landscape of either the domestic homebody or the work space of the artist, with the dominant pole never really defined.John Southern, and his architectural studio, Urban Operations, were responsible for both the design and construction of the project, including the installation of the exterior finishes, which consist of corrugated steel, clear cedar siding, and stucco (the stucco was done by another contractor). John also designed and installed much of the interior finish work, utilizing bamboo floors and plywood elements to make the house seem more human. However, the interior spaces were left as minimal as possible so as to allow for future experimentation and alteration as the designer and the house grew together. By realizing that the house is an organism, not unlike the human body, alterations and maintenance have been planned for, and even accepted as an opportunity to re-tailor the building to the designer’s changing tastes and personal desires.The Design Studio & Residence of John Southern, Principal Architect, Urban Operations is located at 817 Silver Lake Blvd. in Silver Lake. It was one of the featured homes in the 2006 CSSLR Home Tour: ‘Silver Lake Modernism- Then & Now’ held on September 30, 2006 as well as the DWELL House Tour 2006. The house is currently (July 2015 listed for sale for $1, 098,000.
Detailed View of the Exterior Front.
View from the Loft showing the flexible work/living space.
The workspace of Urban Operations features a floating screen that opens to the outdoors.
Interior View. The kitchen also serves as a passageway to the private quarters on the lower level.
Interior View. A bar with stools separates and dileneates the kitchen from the office and private quarters.
The Architect enjoying a brief respite on his balcony overlooking Silver Lake Boulevard.
Interior View. The emphasis here is on crisp minimalism.