Hopper Residence | Los Angeles Conservancy
Hopper Residence
Photo by Larry Underhill

Hopper Residence

When actor and artist Dennis Hopper died in 2010, he left behind a rich legacy of his work in film, photography, painting, and sculpture. He also left behind his unique home in Venice, a five-parcel compound that contained three Frank Gehry condominiums (the Indiana Avenue Houses/Arnoldi Triplex), a small guest cottage, a large backyard, and the main house at 330 Indiana Avenue.

Hopper commissioned architect Brian Murphy of BAM Construction & Design to create the Deconstructivist-style home for him, and it was completed in 1987. The building has an imposing and contradictory front façade of a completely windowless, aggressively angled expanse of corrugated metal with a recessed doorway, reached by opening the twee front gate of a tiny white picket fence in classic suburban style. Large, spiky, gray-green succulents frame the house, accenting its already sculptural nature.

A view of the house's side façade reveals that it swells and curves like a wave, lending an organic touch to the otherwise industrial metal-clad building. Hopper called his home the "Art Barn," and once past the front façade it's easy to see why: the house has a cavernous, loft-like interior with upper floors that float above the open lower expanses. Ample wall space for hanging paintings and photos and abundant light for illuminating them were Hopper's chief goals, and Murphy accommodated him with this open design. Despite its quirks—or really, because of them—the Hopper Residence could not fit better into the streetscape of Venice.

Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

A testament to Frank Gehry's passion for utilitarian material, The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is dominated by chain link used to create a set of three-dimensional objects extending vertically and obliquely from the center of the complex.