Pasadena Residence 2

For our first preservation project, we were invited to work on a house designed in 1911 by Reginald Johnson where, amongst others, Julia Child — the famous chef — grew up. While the front of the house is rigorous and quite grand —following principles of Beaux Arts grid and axes systems, the back of the house remained unfinished, shy of detail, openings, and basic connections to the back yard. The house was in moderately good condition but needed a number of repairs and aesthetic ‘fixes’. The clients wanted the original details of the house to be brought back where they had disappeared, the house to become as sustainable as it could, and to add onto the back of the house to make better connections to their garden. Our design did not seek to blend indistinguishably with the original house, nor did it differentiate itself from the original with a new set of geometries. By incorporating the existing conceptual logics of the house, which is an ambitious series of grids and developed primary and secondary axes, we were able to script something new onto the existing back side. 

A number of design elements and unique interventions were strategically added using digital production methods. Mouldings were scanned and re-milled. We added a number of CNC-milled elements in various locations which played with the original geometries and decorative schemas already present.

Photo Credit: Eric Staudenmaier