equinox architecture, culver city, calif.

Drawing inspiration from the eclecticism of Venice, Calif., Equinox Architecture designed Abbot Kinney Lofts as an antidote to the stark white contemporary boxes going up in the neighborhood. Adaptable to owners' changing needs, the 20-foot-wide units are a mix of exposed elements on the lower levels, but transition to warmer materials and a more residential layout on the upper floors. “The materials are honest and true and pick up on industrial loft living,” says Jim Gelfat. The lofts' materials reference the area's commercial pedigree, but a warm, rusted steel-and-ceramic mural depicting Venice street life gives back to the community in a personal way.

The judges praised the connection to the street: “There's a lot going on,” said one, “but not too much.”

principal in charge / project architect: Jim Gelfat, Equinox Architecture

developer / general contractor: Frank Murphy, Venice Collaborative, Venice, Calif.
structural engineer: Peter Erdelyi, Peter T. Erdelyi & Associates, Los Angeles
ceramicist: Elaine Carhartt, Altadena, Calif.
project size: 3,400 square feet per unit
site size: 0.12 acre
construction cost: $225 per square foot
sales price: Withheld
units in project: 3
photography: Dave Teel Photography.

product specs
bathroom fittings: Grohe America; bathroom fixtures: Duravit USA, Kohler Co., TOTO USA; cooktop, dishwasher, oven/range, refrigerator: Viking Range Corp.; countertop: DuPont (Corian); doors: Metal Window Corp., T.M. Cobb Co.; exterior siding: James Hardie Building Products; flooring (ceramic tile/stone/concrete): Dal-Tile Corp.; garbage disposer: In-Sink-Erator; hardware: Hager Companies, Schlage Lock Co.; insulation: Owens Corning; kitchen fittings: Kohler Co.; kitchen fixtures: KWC America; lighting fixtures: Cooper Lighting (Halo), Tech Lighting; paints/stains/wall finishes: Dunn-Edwards Corp.; roofing: Johns Manville; skylights/roof windows: Lane-Aire Manufacturing Corp.; solar energy system: Fronius USA, Sharp Electronics Corp.; tankless water heaters: Noritz America Corp.; windows: Milgard Windows