Buildings are alive. With the passing of seasons they expand and retract, sink in their foundations, and experience the kind of common wear and tear you’d expect from any lived-in space. So it would make sense that after long enough, even a home designed by the likes of Frank Gehry would need to be updated. Such was the case with the Los Angeles-based Hide Out House.
Rather than just playing it safe by simply fixing and sprucing up what was already there, Dan Brunn Architecture gave the entire house a more minimalist look while still retaining key components of Gehry’s original design. First, DBA ripped out the entire first floor, creating a much more open and light feel. In addition to clearing out the downstairs area, the architectural firm built an almost wavelike, dancing wooden staircase. The sculptural form is a kind of nod to both Gehry – who has a tendency to design buildings that look as if they’re dancing – and the work of the owner of the home, artist James Jean. Taken as a whole, the Hide Out House is an impressive testament to the living nature of buildings, and to DBA’s ability to change a space while preserving its bones.