Modern Abode on Former Forestry Service Testing Site

06.25.20 | By
Modern Abode on Former Forestry Service Testing Site

Conner + Perry Architects recently designed a modern home for a nature and art-loving couple in California on a property that began life as an old Forestry Service test station in Santa Monica Canyon. The original cabin on the property, which was ultimately demolished, was used during the Forestry Service’s Eucalyptus tree testing in the 1910-20s. As such, the couple believed it was important to salvage elements of the original structure for their new home wherever possible.

One of the most noticeable ways the architects blended the cabin’s rich history into the new residence was by repurposing fallen Eucalyptus wood found on the property into key design elements within the house, including the entryway.

“We wanted something that looks like it belonged in the canyon,” explains owner Brad Schlei. “We wanted to feel like we were living amongst the trees.”

Key design features include windows that frame the outdoor trees and fully pocketing glass exterior walls that open to a central courtyard.

Each view throughout the home was designed to showcase either nature or art. Schlei’s wife, Jamie Price, is the daughter of Dallas Price, a MOCA board member, so she boasts quite the art collection.

Interior materials were chosen to reflect the nature outside, including a mix of massangis grey limestone and french oak for the flooring, weathered brass, blackened steel elements, and a variety of marbles and tiles.

Photos by Taiyo Watanabe.

Emily Engle is a freelance writer based in NYC with an interest in all things design, specifically the design process. When she's not writing about design, Emily can either be found taking care of her 31 houseplants, going on "nature" walks in her neighborhood or studying Japanese.