“Red Train Hitting a House”
3932 Wade Street Los Angeles, California

Less than a mile from the beach, this original 1926 spanish house was remodeled and expanded with the addition of two contemporary volumes as a dialogue between tradition and modernity.

When the broker was showing the rundown fixer he was trying to sell, he mentioned its potential. But the potential the Architect saw was probably of a different sort: “a red train going through the house”.
This vision was achieved by developing a contrast between:

the existing (a heavy white mass with traditional doors and windows, anchored to the site) and,
the new (a cantilevered light terracotta volume on each side of the house with exterior openings that progressively “disintegrate” transitioning from traditional to modern).

These two volumes are “floating” in order to save the roots of a splendid camphor tree.
On the side street, a redwood fence dematerializes in front of the house, framing the tree which becomes the main “actor” performing in front of a terracotta “set”.

This project is featured in the 2000 L.A. ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN, by Michael Webb as entry #74.