2018 CH+D Awards: Emerging Designer, Dan Brunn

Given his list of accomplishments it’s astounding that Dan Brunn, principal of Dan Brunn Architecture, has had time to catch his breath. “We’ve had quite a glorious year,” says the 39-year-old Tel Aviv-born designer, who moved to Los Angeles as a child. There was the renovation of a high-rise condo, which posed the challenge of combining two units into one; a project on Sunset Plaza Drive; a beachfront property in Venice; a home balanced over a creek near Hancock Park; and another dwelling built around a tree in one of Hollywood’s “bird” streets.

A tree inside Road to Awe

Clever hanging racks in Road to Awe

There were the awards—from the AIA, Architizer and Interior Design just to name a few—for his designs of the flagship store for streetwise fashion brand Road to Awe in West Hollywood and for Hide Out, a home he renovated for artist James Jean, which showcases a sculptural wooden staircase that is as intricate as the hull of a ship.

A stairway to an outdoor balcony in the Hide Out home

A corner in the Hide Out home

For Hide Out, originally designed by Frank Gehry, Brunn approached the house as he would any other assignment. “I felt the space, then I reacted to the space,” says Brunn. “When I eventually received Gehry’s drawings I saw similarities in how my strategy had aligned with his.”

Coffee for Sasquatch

Dubbing his approach “empathetic architecture,” Brunn believes that an architect’s role is to craft spaces that respect the site, provoke sensuous interaction and heighten the user’s connection with the space. “I’m not thinking along the lines of the heroes of architecture anymore. I’m thinking more about the end result and who’s going to be in the space. They’re the heroes,” he explains.

Rendering of the Bridge House

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