top of page



© Tom Bonner


Location: Los Angeles, California Architect: FINNE Architects Photographer: Tom Bonner Completion: August 2019 Architect: FINNE Architects Nils Finne, AIA, Design Principal Chris Hawley & Chris Graesser, Project Managers Contractor: Bruder Construction Bell Canyon, CA Structural Engineers: Parker Resnick, Los Angeles, CA. Bruce Resnick Custom Steel Kitchen Pendant Design: by Nils Finne Light Fixture Fabrication: by Landbridge Lighting, Seattle Custom Cast Glass Breakfast Counter: Design by Nils Finne, Fabrication by Glassworks, Seattle WA Custom Bath Accessories: VRI Series of twisted steel bath accessories. Design by Nils Finne. Fabricated by 5-STAR Industries, Seattle VG Douglas Fir Lift-slide Doors And Offset-pivot Front by Quantum Windows and Door. Door Everett, WA Exterior Clear Cedar Siding and Soffits: furnished by Issaquah Lumber Interior VG Fir ceiling paneling Issaquah, WA Exposed Doug Fir structural ceiling and Beams in Living Pavilion area: furnished by Disdero Lumber Clackamas, OR Stainless custom kitchen island sink: Metalmasters Lynnwood, WA Custom Suspended Mirror at Powder Rm: Distinctive Glass, Lynnwood WA Tile for all bathrooms: Ann Sacks, Seattle, WA Custom Wood Cabinets: Taylor Made Furniture Marquette, MI Furniture and Art work Furnished by clients


The Venice House creates a garden sanctuary in the city. Located on a long, narrow lot in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles, the house comprises a dramatic series of folded roof planes and a collage of textured metal and wood exterior surfaces. The bulk of the house has been placed on the eastern side of the lot, making a linear garden on the western side. The wood living pavilion projects into the garden space, with a soaring hyperbolic paraboloid roof formed by exposed Douglas fir beams. A pool has been placed directly outside the living area, allowing this prominent part of the house to be mirrored by water.
The bedroom wing of the house frames the triangular living pavilion, which projects into the long garden space on the west side of the property.

The living area is enclosed by a continuous glass wall, protected by a 6-ft roof overhang. Oversized 8-ft by 10-ft sliding glass panel doors open directly to the pool, creating a seamless indoor-outdoor environment. The living pavilion itself is constructed with wood, both exterior and interior, establishing a contrast of warm wood to the cool metal siding that wraps the bedroom wing. The living roof is a hyperbolic paraboloid composed of tightly-spaced Douglas Fir beams. The beams gradually reverse their slope from one end of the living space to the other end, creating a curving interior line where the beams frame into the wall of the bedroom wing. The curvature of the hyperbolic paraboloid is made entirely with straight beams.
Simplicity rules the choice of interior finishes. White-bleached rift-sawn white oak cabinets and floors are combined with calm, white plaster walls.