Long celebrated for its free-wheeling attitude and world famous boardwalk, Venice is California’s quintessential laid-back beach town. Renowned European architect Andrea Schoening of Studio Schoening designed several homes in the heart of Venice’s Architects Row, and her newest – a slim, single-family tower – is a Pop Art explosion of architectural creativity.
“This street and neighboring streets are unique because the homes are on skinny lots,” notes Schoening. “It’s a challenge and a gift, this vertical approach. More of a townhouse style is what’s happening now in Venice. The architecture is also very urban. This was achieved by using colors and materials that are present in the immediate surroundings and add variety in the façade.”
Big windows are important because the home’s restrictive lot size is so tight, she explains; without enough windows, it would feel dark and claustrophobic. “Floor-to-ceiling windows really open up the layout and bring in more light. The first floor is all about entertaining: eating, dining, gathering around the fireplace and cooking. It’s open so there’s no disconnect between the host and the guests.” The second level includes a bright blue family room and two guest suites.
Arranged on three distinct levels, Schoening felt there was a need to sequence the rooms according to their uses. “There is an open floor plan on the first floor and an ideal circulation of rooms with the separation of the master bedroom away from the rest of the home. The wet bar on the third level can easily be used by guests on the rooftop.”
Speaking of the rooftop, it’s the place where many memorable gatherings begin, according to Schoening. “When entertaining, everything starts on the rooftop, which is 30 feet up in the air. The weather is nice so parties begin on the roof and guests can go one floor down to grab something from the fridge or use the powder room without having to go through the master bedroom.”
Schoening says the master bedroom has some of the home’s best views, extending all the way to the Pacific Palisades. “There’s even a view from the sauna in the master bath where you can see the Hollywood Hills. The master suite is the perfect size, it’s very light; and the bath is elegant with muted tile colors. The visual sightlines are uninterrupted since the suite is so high up.”
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Photography by Jeff Elson.
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