David Ming-Li Lowe, Architect
308 Venice Way, Venice, CA 90291
As David Gebhard and Robert Winter noted in their classic Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles, you could easily drive by and not notice this building, it is so anonymous from the street, but once it catches your eye, an exquisite attention to detail is readily apparent. Designed and built by award-winning architect, artist, filmmaker, and beloved educator David Ming-Li Lowe, this rare Artist-In-Residence compound in the heart of Venice, 3 blocks from the beach, was originally conceived as an experimental work-in-progress, a place where students and makers could spontaneously imagine and create spatial possibilities. Now the loft-like live/work space has been completely renovated and outfitted with high-end fixtures and finishes, including a Valcuccine kitchen, providing an attractive integrated experience for the creative entrepreneur. Two mirrored 3-story buildings secure the perimeter, sheltering a private inner courtyard that connects the two domains, evocative of traditional Japanese architecture. From the front, a commercial storefront signals business activities within, while direct entry to the 3-car garage/workshop from the alley provides ample security. The two towers above hold separate Master Suites, with living room and kitchen on the middle level, connected by a hardwood deck suspended above the courtyard. The overall composition is a celebration of structural steel, inspired by predecessors like Craig Ellwood and Pierre Koenig, with exposed posts and beams, elegant cross bracing, and high-performance, energy-efficient, translucent Kalwall building panels interspersed with clear French doors and operable windows.
3,865/OT Square Feet