• Chaplin Classic

    In LIMELIGHT, Chaplin’s serio-comic film classic, under the footlights the old vaudevillian dies at the feet of the young dancer:  the past literally gives way to the present and future.  This worn-out warehouse is a physical form of the story’s theatrical allegory - the new bursts upon the scene as public space, conference rooms, and opening corridors that are clustered at its entrance to heighten the wow effect that masks its ultimate utilitarian environment.  Practical work stations have sculptural elements and baffles deflect California sun to further amp up interior kinetic energy.  Walls of translucent fiberglass, coupled with the expansive truss ceiling, natural wood grain cabinetry, and vivid coloration imply a future vision of the producers expressed by designer, Franklin Israel and project architect, Barbara Callas’ masterful modernism.
  • Virgin Vinyl

    Franklin D. Israel design associates – Barbara Callas architects’ alchemic hand transmuted a mundane form of civic functionality into a cornucopia of starling space and color to serve as Virgin Records new US Corporate Base.  Stars of the exploding scene were greeted by architecture as modern as their music.  The entry canopy braced by rusted steel detailed in bolts and struts balance glazed, translucent sections, to soften the sun with a skeletal simplicity.   The interior of massive angled plaster walls and darkly burnished concrete floors which bounce light from open and discreet sources suggest a playful and visionary permanence akin to the future hits the A & R team discovered within this innervating labyrinth.  
  • Fahrenheit 451

    Ms. Callas, project manager for Franklin D. Israel design associates - Barbara Callas architect, coordinated the creation of this Futuristic Fire Station wherein the clients inhabit a physical metaphor in the mountains above Malibu of outrageous color, radical form, and fantasy finishes.  The work stands as a nascent canvas of California Colorists School of Architecture.  The firm was one of its founding proponents.  
  • High Tea

    The investors in this rewrite of Dickensian London wished to add eight chapters (lofts and penthouses) to this vertical volume, as it were, in an historic section of the city.  Expansions within the buildings footprint were limited by venerable codes.  The resultant design presents a symmetrical face to the street where lifts operate within an expanded shaft of light to access the multi-tiered upper units.  The remaining sides of the structure reflect the irregular shaped geometry above.  To accommodate the requisite parking a garage was built into the ground floor, entering at the rear.  A straight corridor with contrasting solid block walls, one continuous, the other a folded plane, connects to the central lift.  Scones and tea, the bucolic bastion of Victorian civility, surely remains a Four O’clock staple in these “flats” which fuse formality and the tenets of minimalist functionalism.  
  • Late Night Host

    The former pad of Tonight Show Producer, Freddie de Cordova was a ground-up renovation and remodel meant to make current the idiom of modernism without excessive gesture so as to strip away completely the original form and finish simply for the sake of a new signature.  Overall lightness was created by use of an off-white gray-flecked terrazzo that traverses the length of the lower hall to widened steps that descend to an opened living room.  The kitchen was unfolded to act as one space with all the appliances updated.  Cabinetry was refinished and extensively reworked to add to the illusion of an unbroken timeline between old and new.  The geometry of the house within and without has been detailed in soft Douglas Fir.  A motif of terrazzo grounds the master bath’s Corian vanities and sinks with suspended and self illuminated mirroring.  The pool, once the center of frolicking and  “late-night” antics, was resurfaced, landscaped, and repurposed for family functions and Sunday afternoon serenity.  
  • Promised Land Penthouse

    Above Israel’s ancient sea - upon which history itself was transported between the East and West – rises a residence sculpted by a modernist methodology that shapes a future view of the palpable past.  The drama and comfort of the plan is achieved by a separation of its walls from the ceilings where soffits provide mysterious light that leads from passageways to seemingly secreted space.  Wood partitions separate and splay an origami form which unfolds and animates the paths between living areas which open to the majestic horizon beyond.  
  • Art Aerie

    A condo nested high above Santa Monica Bay was expanded to include the adjacent unit so that 20th Century modern art would be the loci of the resultant remodel.   The concentration of bold paintings and objects is softened by an entry of stacked vertical grain bamboo that opens to ocean views and the continuous overlapping public space punctuated by slotted lighting and distinctive furnishings in the living and dining areas.  The kitchen contrasts, stainless, teak, and pristine Corian counters anchored on alabaster Terrazzo floors.  The master continues the Terrazzo’s materiality which frames and fuses as the monolithic tub.  The architect’s own art piece is the bath’s over-sized Tangerine-colored cast-resin sink. Which, its deep hues drenched in western sun, soars like a translucent geometry above the Pacific.  
  • Venice Hood

    Abbot Kinney bi-sects the multi-cultural, fast-growing, gentrification of Venice, California: east and west of this strip of exotic shops and hip eateries spills an array of funky fixer-uppers, brightly painted bungalows, yet-to-be touched shacks, and the latest modern adaptations to limited lot size.  This “spec” project sold with site and plans that maximized the diminutive “dirt” for this 2200 square-foot domicile with dual stacked boxes and an open floor plan flooded with natural light by a central skylight.  The three-sided structure’s open plan allows for increased on-shore breeze from the neighboring beach.  The highly detailed finishes of the exterior: soft-gray ship-lapped cement board and earth-hued stucco are suspended by boldly painted orange steel which exaggerates the upper floors lightness of form.  The central interior wall is hand-troweled bright blue plaster; the open kitchen is teak and stainless.  A steel stair softened by wooden treads rises to the bedrooms and baths above where impeccable detailing and custom cabinetry are set off by lustrous glass tile and the latest in fixtures and fenestration.
  • Writer’s Warren

    No map, movie, or extensive view of Google Earth, can substitute first-hand experience of the diversity and density of homes settled in the steep, winding, canyons of Beverly Hills.  Here, sudden success is its trademark, Hollywood the source.  A fancy ride and a chic pad follow as de rigueur for the fortunate few.  This lucky winner - a writer who traded in a script for a remodeled California Generic 70’s set upon a steep slope –wanted privacy, elegance, and meticulous detail.  These were achieved by adding front white- steel trowel walls, reconfiguring and expanding natural and designed light sources, and, finishing the central fireplace and bath in black plaster set against natural timber tones.  The effect produces a Yin and Yang of cool-and-warm shadow-and-light.