The project is the remodeling of and addition to a rare surviving specimen of Sun Villa by modernist architect A. Quincy Jones. The Sun Villa was designed to be a low-cost model home, and was the winner of the AIA award Builder House of the Year in 1950. Despite the success of the concept, only a few houses were actually built, mainly in the San Diego area.
Our clients found the home by chance and fell in love with it. They only discovered later that it was architecturally significant.
We worked closely with the clients and with the City of Glendale Office of Historic Resources to restore the dilapidated building. In an effort to keep the spirit of the A. Quincy Jones design, we used a light touch for the renovation with the main goal of eliminating all the elements added to the building by previous owners and reveal the original building design, evident from the original drawings located at the UCLA Young Research Library’s Special Collections.
We were careful to minimize alterations to the aesthetics, spatial transparency and flow of the existing house while integrating modern materials to improve the thermal performance of the post and beam, mostly glass house. The kitchen, the bathrooms, the sliding doors, as well as the douglas fir wall paneling that proffered a sense of the fluid transition between interior and exterior, had to be entirely replaced due to the poor condition of the original building materials. Replacement materials were picked to adhere to the original design intent, and were used as much as possible in their natural state without altering them. Small additions such as a studio, a bedroom and an additional bathroom, aimed at making the house more comfortable and up to contemporary standards of living.