Rusted corrugated steel barn with African influences

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Wolfe Residence was designed by Ehrlich Architects for an African art dealer/collector and big game hunter and his family in West Los Angeles, California. The 3,400 square foot sustainable residence is a rusting Cor-ten steel barn showcasing the owner’s ever-changing collection of African art and furniture, taking full advantage of Southern California’s benign climate. The Owner and the Architect share a deep love of, and a long history with Africa where the Architect lived for six years and the Owner continues to visit and engage local artists every year. Their shared connection with this continent was an instrumental influence on the architecture, landscape, and interiors.

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The corrugated Cor-ten steel roof wraps continuously around the roof to the walls to the ground, showcasing the naturally weathering material. Oversized sliding glass doors open the steel structure up on two sides (sliding into wall pockets), transforming the house into an airy pavilion. The owner’s collection of African art is displayed on the large white walls of the main living area.

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The 13 foot high, white walls of the main living space display eclectic African treasures from many regions. A zebra print carpet covers the stairs leading to the upper floor and mezzanine, past a skylit moosehead hanging on the stairwell wall, continuing the African wilderness theme present throughout the house. The upstairs master bedroom suite features a balcony overlooking the backyard pool and a “his and hers” walk in closet that were customized to expresses the Hunter and the Hunted which the Owners religiously dress as. Sustainable landscaping is achieved with extensive zero-scape, native plants and bark and sand ground cover. African hardwood stools mix with found and recycled artifacts, and a basketball hoop.

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Photos: Grant Mudford

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