This Renovation Project Adopts Passive Solar Design and Sustainable Technologies to Transform a 50’s Ranch House

Project Details
  • Location: Laurel Canyon, California
  • Size: 343 sqm
  • Architects: Assembledge+
  • Design Team: David Thompson (Principal-in-Charge), Scott Walter, Gregory Marin
  • Interior Design: Alexader Design Build, Powder Room by Susan Mitnick Design Studio
  • Photography: Laure Joliet

Nestled in the hills of the Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles, California, The Wonderland Park Residence is situated within an enclave of mid-century residences from which it draws its inspiration. Originally a ranch house built in 1956, the project by Assembledge+ entails a second-floor addition and extensive remodel guided by Passive Solar Design Strategies.

A narrow, nine meter long skylight mediates between the original pitched roof and the volume of the new addition where it rises to the second floor. This brings light and geometric clarity to the spaces, further enhanced by the Western Red Cedar cladding that runs continuously from the ceiling of the family room up through the skylight and around the exterior walls of the second story.

The form of the roof, oriented to the south for solar panels, evokes the notion of a tree house. Because this upper volume floats through the long skylight, a sense of freedom and fluidity is heightened within the new open floor plan below.

The kitchen is the heart of the residence, physically connecting the social and private areas and providing views horizontally to the landscape and vertically through the skylight. Floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors are positioned on opposite corners of the plan so that a diagonal axis is established from the front yard that passes through the interior spaces and out to the back yard and pool.

Comparable transparency continues upstairs where the primary bedroom and bathroom enjoy vistas into the forested surroundings of the Los Angeles canyon.

The house utilizes sustainable technologies including sustainably harvested Red Cedar cladding, a solar photovoltaic system, a grey water system for landscape irrigation, native and drought-tolerant landscaping, Caesarstone countertops, and formaldehyde-free MDF kitchen and bath cabinetry.

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