Double Standard


In a home they designed in the Beverly Hills Flats, architects Jeffrey Allsbrook and Sylvia Kuhle of Standard Architectureinvoke their winning formula to update an historic home.

Updating an historic home is not an easy task. Which is probably why so many developers prefer to raze these structures to the ground and start from scratch. But that wasn’t the goal of Plus Development. Instead, they worked with architects Jeffrey Allsbrook and Sylvia Kuhle of Standard Architecture to reimagine a series of historically designated 1920s homes in the Beverly Hills flats for modern life.

Riffing off of a space that the duo had created for fashion designer Jenni Kayne, the goal was to utilize organic materials, including wood, stone and marble, to create light-filled homes that supported the indoor-outdoor relationship that has become a hallmark of Southern California life.

Allsbrook and Kuhle performed delicate surgery on the historic home, flexing its strengths and underlining its beauty without detracting from the balance and proportion that was integral to the the original structure’s appeal. That began in the front. Leaving the exterior and the expansive yard intact, Allsbrook and Kuhle transformed the vaulted porte-cochere, once used to shelter cars, into a wine room.

Inside, they opened up the formerly dark entryway. It’s now an expansive two story foyer, capped by a new cedar-beamed ceiling that echoes the original wood ceilings found in the living room and the den.

The rest of the main floor was also rethought. A 3,000 square foot addition to the rear of the home, which supports a modern kitchen, encouraged expansive rooms. A dark wall, which houses a fireplace and a built-in bookcase, brings drama to the home’s office.

A new 2,000 square foot second story is the setting for the bedrooms, including a master suite with a sleek, modern bathroom. Custom steel windows and doors on the new spaces reference the historic designs of the windows and doors seen in the home’s living room and den, where sunlight is prisimed into rainbows through the home’s original stained glass.

The result is a home flooded with natural light that links Los Angeles’ storied past with its exciting future.

To see the first home in the series, click here.