The Bojanic House by Martin Fenlon Architecture
by Daniel Haim
What started out as a relatively minor remodel of a modest bungalow evolved over the course of construction into a new 2,500 s.f. house, with the existing foundation and footprint as the only original elements. The Bojanics acted as owner-builders, keeping construction costs to a bare minimum. The end result was a uniquely collaborative effort; one where the design was worked out on a day-to-day basis during construction in a manner that bordered on improvisation.
The site is at the top of the hills of Sherman Oaks, just under the Mulholland ridgeline, and affords a spectacular view of the San Fernando Valley. The Bojanics wanted a house that would not only take advantage of the view, but also maintain the more traditional role of a house as a private, protective shelter. This somewhat contradictory request presented a challenge. The response was an open plan of spaces oriented towards the view, set within a heavy, monolithic mass which provides the necessary closure and protectively hovers above. The negotiation of these opposing aspects is most evident in the entrance; a solid wall, with a door weighing hundreds of pounds, becomes the point of entry which is situated within, and counter to, the open glass walls.