Must-Reads: Ehrlich Yanai Outside In

Ehrlich Yanai: Outside-In New California Modernism
by Steven Ehrlich and Takashi Yanai Intro by Zahid Sardar | The Monacelli Press

Steven Ehrlich and Takahi Yanai of Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects are renowned for houses that extend the character of California modernism, focusing on transparency, dissolving the boundaries between inside and out and interpreting North African and Japanese architectural traditions. Fifteen recent designs are showcased in Ehrlich Yanai: Outside-In.

The principal force behind the design is the site, whether a rugged hillside in the desert of Palm Springs, a lush landscape in the shadow of Mt. Tamalpais, or a constructed lot in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, or Venice Beach.

Ridge Mountain Residence, Palm Springs, CA. Photo by Joe Fletcher

“Blurring the boundaries between the built and natural environment, our designs merge California modernism with vernacular design elements. Through details and materials, we maximize the homeowner’s connection with the site and natural surroundings,” says Ehrlich.

Central to the architects’ design approach is what Ehrlich describes as “multicultural modernism,” a concept that has emerged from his own immersion in the vernacular buildings of North Africa and Yanai’s embrace of Japanese design principles. Those influences can be seen both in formal elements – courtyards, sculptural staircases, and expansive openings that encourage a seamless transition between inside and out – and in a limited palette of building materials that focuses on stone, wood, and glass.

Be sure to check out more of ASPIRE’s recommended page-turners here!

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