Petal House | Los Angeles Conservancy
Petal House
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Petal House

The Petal House is an extensive alteration to a 1945 Minimal Traditional tract house that transforms the one-story building into a two-story composition of contrasting volumes. Designed by architect Eric Owen Moss, the renovation was completed in 1982. Moss collaborated with the owner to rethink the concept of what a house should be, and together they came up with a Deconstructivist design that juxtaposes logic and disorder. The house's name comes from its most prominent addition, an asphalt shingle-clad master bedroom with an exploded pyramidal roof with its four sides opened up at asymmetric angles as if it were a flower opening in the sun.

Rather than tearing out part of the house's original roof to accommodate the addition, Moss balanced the new volume on top of the roof's gable and filled in the spaces in between. The house's front façade received a new porch enclosed in horizontal rebar, making it a sort of transparent room addition, and its chimney was sheathed in sheet metal shaped to look like a crenellated castle battlement. Behind the house, a detached garage received an addition similar to that of the main house, an asphalt shingle-clad office/guest room accessed by an exterior stairway with nautical rope railings. With its profusion of clashing materials, contradictory volumes, and unexpected shapes, the Petal House is a West Los Angeles sight not to be missed.

Photo by Robert Mangurian

Gagosian Art Gallery and Apartments

From the street it's hard to see the splendor of this nondescript, industrial-looking building—that is, until you spy an aerial view revealing its secret heart: a circular interior courtyard, wholly open to the sky.