In Los Angeles’ Venice neighbourhood, a mile from the iconic boardwalk, there is a new type of beach house. Instead of nautical-themed bathrooms, rope pulls, and pastel bedrooms, this bright home acknowledges the aquatic in subtler ways. Walnut cladding throughout seems to have drifted in from the ocean, and curved walls ebb and flow in unexpected places. Overhead, a porthole-like skylight illuminates the entryway.
From the outside, Radius House, by L.A. firm Pentagon, weaves light and geometry in a dialogue that continues within the walls. The structure’s squared S shape creates a playful interruption on the palm-tree-lined residential street. Large reflective windows provide privacy inside the house and paint exterior portraits of the landscaping by Sarita Jaccard Design.
In the entry, floor-to-ceiling curved shelving takes centre stage. Its walnut wood is a motif that is replicated throughout the home, from the cabinetry and island in the kitchen to the central atrium. A grand staircase, made of the same warm walnut, circles up toward the skylight.
Underfoot, heated concrete floors warm the high-traffic main living spaces downstairs, while European white oak floors bring serenity to the bedrooms on the second storey. Throughout, white Venetian plaster walls brighten the space and add a bespoke sculptural feel.
In true beach-house fashion, Radius House’s interior converses easily with its exterior. One of the house’s most sublime features appears in an inconspicuous place—tucked away up three flights of stairs, a walkable skylight traverses the rooftop terrace. Back on ground level, the house wraps around a central courtyard on three sides, where a raised basalt platform features a pool, sundeck, and fireplace, making for a “bento box” of outdoor pleasures.
Until it sells, Radius House is home to a conceptual exhibition, titled SALON, showcasing work from international artists and designers. The exhibit is intended to deconstruct the barriers between art and architecture, public and private.
It’s fitting that Pentagon is incorporating art in its first ground-up residential project. Its 2019 Bombay Beach Biennale installation, Dooratorium, a circle of opening and closing blue and yellow doors, and its work with OneLog Dispensary in 2018, which used 8,000 redwood bricks to line the interior, also aimed for immersive sensory experiences. With Radius House, the firm displays a masterful ability to bring a contemporary perspective to California coastal elegance, making an impressive debut into the world of residential new-builds.