Form & Function: Passion Project


Let’s be clear: This building is called a guest-house, but it’s so much more. The secondary building that architect Jim Schmidt of Schmidt Architecture created for a Los Angeles couple is all about collecting, entertaining and hobbies—and it all started with fast cars.

From the alley, you can access the new (and larger) garage that spawned this project. Ipe siding covers the garage doors and white, cementitious siding covers the back of the living space.


The site of the new structure used to hold a small guesthouse and a two-car garage, but for this wheels-loving couple, it wasn’t enough. “The husband collects Ferraris and needed more parking space,” explains Schmidt. “They decided they wanted to create a new guest-house and bigger garage and they wanted something different architecturally from the main house.”

With a built-in bar, the guest house doubles as a pool house and party spot.


Schmidt created a modern building with a dual nature. Half of the structure (the part covered in cementitious white panels) serves as a guesthouse, a pool house, a bar and a gym—and there’s a garden on the roof. “Guests do stay here, but it’s really more like a great room for them,” Schmidt says.

The palm trees were planted by the original owner, Sammy Davis Jr., and they were carefully preserved.

he top of the structure will soon be home to a raised-bed garden.

The other half of the building, which sits largely below grade, is a garage accessed from a narrow back alley. The architect made way for seven cars to be parked comfortably by incorporating a turntable at the entrance. “This gives them space to expand their car interests,” Schmidt says. 

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