Architectural Treasure in the Pacific Palisades: The Eames House

October 4, 2018 in Projects

The Eames Home, also known as Case Study #8, is a landmark of midcentury architecture. It was designed by residential architects Charles and Ray Eames, who were a husband and wife team instrumental in creating the Midcentury Modern style.

Charles (right) and Ray Eames. Photo via PBS.

The Case Study houses were created to experiment with residential design and find an inexpensive, efficient, and architecturally pleasing single family home design for soldiers returning from World War II. Case Study homes were designed by a number of prominent architects, including Richard Neutra, Raphael Soriano, and Eero Saarinen.

The house is located on a 1.4 acre lot in Pacific Palisades, in a beautiful wooded bluff along the sea. The original design of the house envisioned a raised box dramatically spanning the lot and cantilevering over the meadow in the front yard. In line with other Case Houses, the Eames House was supposed to be built from pre-constructed parts from a steel fabricator. However, steel shortages after the war delayed the shipment for three years. During that time Charles and Ray fell in love with the front meadow, and redesigned the house to sit along the ridge line in order to preserve the meadow.

Rendering of the new design, showing the main house and studio. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

The new design built the house into the slope opposite the meadow. Other changes include the addition of a mezzanine level with bedrooms overlooking the double-height living room and a courtyard separating the studio from the main house. You can see the original 1946 photos of the house here – including construction photos if those interest you.

View of the Eames House showing part of the preserved meadow and Eucalyptus trees. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Residential design in Pacific Palisades had never seen a house like Case Study #8. The Eames house is largely considered one of the most successful Case Studies houses – it is both an architectural statement and a functional living space. The Eames lived in it until their death, a testament to the house’s functionality and success.

The interiors of the Eames house have remained largely untouched since Charles and Ray’s death. Photo via We Are Scout.

The Eames House has been operated by a foundation since 2004. In 2006 the house was designated a National Historic Landmark.

Ames Peterson DIGS Publication

August 22, 2018 in Projects

Our architecture team had a great time working on this “Classically Modern” West Hollywood project in collaboration with Chelsea Design Associates. We were thrilled that DIGS featured the Orlando project as a cover story for their May 2018 issue. Read all about the project below, and click the button below to see more photos. 


Top left: the oversized oversized chef’s kitchen with top of the line appliances. Top right: the outdoor lounge area, located right off the interior living room and divided by a two-panel pocket door. Bottom: deck off the upstairs guest suites with tree line views.  

BUILD 2018 Best Luxury Californian Residential Project: Wrightview

July 31, 2018 in Projects

Ames Peterson was honored to be nominated for a BUILD Award in 2018. After a careful review of our work, the judges singled out our Wrightview project as the Best Luxury Californian Residential Project. 


The designer kitchen features Calcutta Gold Marble, top-of-the-line Thermador appliances, and custom African finished cabinetry.

The Wrightview project was a labor of love between Ames Peterson and Jason Green at 2Form. Jason came to us with a vision to do an addition and remodel on a traditional home, converting it into a stunning modern oasis with an open-floor plan and contemporary finishes.

Helping him design and permit a modern home that fit aesthetically in a traditional neighborhood was a challenge, but our team rose to the occasion.

The result is a magnificent, modern update to a single-level shed roof home. The sweeping rooflines of the house come towards you as you approach the drive and its supporting stone columns give it a sense of strength and prominence that define its entry.

We are incredibly proud of the success of this project, and thank Jason Green of 2Form for trusting us to bring his design to life. Ames Peterson looks forward to undertaking even more successful projects with 2Form over the coming years.

A Guide to the Malibu Planning Process for a Coastal Development Property

April 23, 2018 in Projects

Getting a building permit in Los Angeles can be a long, difficult, and confusing process. There’s a lot of steps and red tape involved, and building permits are required for new constructions, additions, alterations, and demolition/removal of a building or structure (so, pretty much everything). When you add in cities with further requirements, such as Malibu’s Local Coastal Program, things get even trickier.

Our Los Angeles team is proud of our 100% success rate at getting a building permit. Since we understand how confusing the permitting process can be, our team put together this infographic to clarify the Malibu planning process for a coastal development property. All developments in Malibu are required to abide by this process, so whether you’re building your dream home or looking to remodel your house, our infographic has you covered.


European Elegance in Palm Beach, Florida

April 11, 2018 in Projects

As the saying goes, inspiration can strike at any time. Consider the design inspiration for Stone Creek Ranch: a magazine tear sheet of a home in Provence. Our clients came to us with the tear sheet and a vision of creating a modern French country manor home. The result couples Tuscan architecture and hints of Mediterranean flavor with updated twists, such as clean, fresh lines; contemporary color tones; and thick archways and columns.

The exterior’s stone archways, balustraded balconies, and a warm Mediterranean portico set the stage for a dramatic yet welcoming interior. The covered entry opens to a vaulted foyer and gallery, drenched in sun from the arched glass front door and surrounding windows.

Argentinian marble steps lead down from the foyer into the living room, where the deep hue of the dark wooden beams and American walnut flooring create a stark contrast with the white walls and pitched white ceiling. Accent colors throughout the house include burnished gold, light blue, and pale yellow, which can be seen in the artwork, rugs, and pillows in the photo below.

Like most of the home, the decor is Tuscan and Mediterranean meet Santa Barbara.

The chiaroscuro theme continues in the formal dining room, where travertine wall claddings and light wood columns contrast with the wood furniture and dark arch of the groin vaulted ceiling. An Arte de Mexico chandelier centers above an alder table. You can’t overlook the luscious floor, covered in honed travertine inlaid with polished Costa Esmerelda marble and bordered by antique bronze marble.

Nearby, the kitchen breaks thematically with the rest of the house through a juxtaposition of clean and rustic styles. Quaint green-lacquered cabinetry mixes with stained cherry cabinets, tied together with contemporary stainless steel bar pulls. Vintage touches, including an antique butcher block and the stone surrounding the cook top, gives the kitchen a sense of history. Camino del Inca flooring visually connects the kitchen to the adjacent morning room. 

Floor-to-ceiling glass windows provide a view through to the courtyard and pool. The wooden beams on the vaulted ceiling continues the light/dark theme seen throughout the house.

Pale hues abound in the private spaces, differentiating them visually from the social areas. The master suite, which occupies an entire wing of the home, features a tranquil blue and white color palate to encourage a sense of calm and relaxation. A barrel-ceilinged dressing vestibule connects his and her bathrooms to the bedroom.

White crown molding elevates the already luxurious master suite.

Her bathroom abounds with light, feminine touches. Windows surround the freestanding tub and white Breccia Dorado marble countertops and white onyx flooring finish the room.

The elegant, feminine master bathroom includes a crystal chandelier and sconces.

Outside, the classically styled pool and spa are complemented by majestic trees and vibrant flowers, designed by Krent Weiland of KWD Landscape Architecture.

The house is situated lakeside in the exclusive Delray Beach community of Stone Creek Ranch and encompasses 15,055 total square feet with 10,671 square feet under air. While the scale of the home is dramatic, it’s superbly proportioned, making the home very livable.

We were honored to learn that the Stone Creek Ranch community uses our home on their website as an example of an ideal home.

10 Trailblazing Female Architects

March 8, 2018 in Projects

For over 150 years women have shown their passion for architecture through countless contributions to the male-dominated profession. Even in 2018, architecture can be a challenging career path for women and gender imbalances at architectural firms remains a glaring issue. In honor of International Woman’s Day, this list celebrates 10 highly influential female architects who left their mark on the industry. While not an exhaustive list of all talented female architects, these are some names you should definitely know.

1) Zaha Hadid

No list of female architects would be complete without Hadid. Born in Baghdad in 1950, Hadid immersed herself in architecture from a young age. The Guardian described her as the ‘Queen of the curve’, who “liberated architectural geometry, giving it a whole new expressive identity.” In 2004, Hadid became the first woman awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the highest honor an architect can receive.

Photos left to right: Photo of Zaha Hadid via Brigitte Lacombe/Zaha Hadid Architects; Bergisel Ski Jump, Innsbruck, Austria via Richard Wasenegger; Sheikh Zayed Bridge, Abu-Dhabi via Flickr

2) Neri Oxman

This Israeli-born visionary invented her own area of architecture, which she termed “material ecology” to describe her interest in building with biological forms. Examples of her work include the Silk Pavilion, spun by silkworms released onto a nylon frame, and G3DP, the first 3D printer for optically transparent glass and a set of glasswork produced by it. Oxman is currently an Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is in great demand as a speaker and publisher.

Photos left to right: Neri Oxman by Noah Kalina; The Silk Pavilion via ArchDaily; Mediated Matter glassworks

3) Julia Morgan (1872-1957)

Julia Morgan was a true trailblazer for female architects. She was the first woman admitted to the architectural program at Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France and the first woman licensed as an architect in California. She designed over 700 buildings in California during her prolific career, including the stunning Hearst Castle. In 2014, Morgan posthumously became the first woman to receive the AIA Gold Medal.

Photos left to right: Hearst Castle via Smith Collection/Gad/Getty Images (cropped); Julia Morgan.

4) Eileen Gray (1878-1976)

Gray’s contributions to architecture were largely overlooked for many years, but she’s now considered one of the pioneers of the Modern Movement. Gray worked as an architect and furniture designer at the turn of the 20th century. Her work influenced many of her contemporaries including Le Corbusier, who famously attempted to sabotage her modern masterpiece E-1027 (above, restored) by painting a series of colorful, highly sexual murals on the pure white panes of the house.

Photos left to right: E-1027 via ArchDaily; Eileen Gray

5) Liz Diller

American architect Liz Diller blurs the lines between art and architecture. Some of her fabulous ideas were too outrageous to be built – such as a 2013 proposal to build an inflatable bubble to be seasonally applied to the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC.  Diller is a founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the firm that famously transformed an abandoned Manhattan railway line into the High Line Park which attracts eight million visitors a year. Diller’s work in public spaces range from the theoretical to the practical, and she continues to push boundaries and further blur the lines between media, medium, and structure.

Photos left to right: Liz Diller by Unagno & Agriodimas LLC./Ugano Agriodimas: The Broad Museum in Los Angeles via Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group; High Line in New York City via Iwan Baan

6) Maya Lin

Known for her large, minimalist sculptures and monuments, Lin received national recognition at the age of 21 when her design was chosen for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington DC. It is considered one of the most influential memorials of the post-World War II period. Lin graduated from Yale University and currently owns and operates Maya Lin Studio in New York City. She has worked on a number of high-profile installations including the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama (1989) and the Wave Field outdoor installation at the University of Michigan (1995).

Photos left to right: Maya Lin via Time; Vietnam Veterans Memorial via 506thcurrahee; Civil Rights Memorial

7) Beverly Loraine Greene (1915-1967)

Chicago-born architect Beverly Greene became the first African-American woman licensed to practice architecture in Illinois, and likely the country, in 1942. Throughout her impressive career Greene worked with the Chicago Housing Authority, designed the massive Stuyvesant Housing Project, and collaborated with Marcel Breuer to design the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.

Photos left to right: Beverly Loraine Greene’s Senior Portrait c. 1935, Courtesy of the University of Illinois Archives; Stuyvesant Housing Project via Getty Images; UNESCO Headquarters via Flickr

8) Norma Sklarek (1926-2012)

Dubbed the “Rosa Parks of architecture,” Sklarek became an architectural trailblazer in New York and California, and was the first female architect licensed in both states. She was one of only two women in her 1950 graduating class at Columbia University. Sklarek worked for a number of high-profile firms including Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Gruen and Associates, and Welton Becket Associates. While at Welton Becket she oversaw the $50 million renovation of Terminal One at LAX in advance of the 1984 Olympics and went on to co-found the largest woman-owned architecture firm of its day.

Due to her race and gender, much of Sklarek’s work went unrecognized and credit was given mainly to her male collaborators. Only the Embassy of the United States in Tokyo has acknowledged her contributions.

Photos left to right: Sklarek at at the Los Angeles office of Gruen Associates, photo Courtesy Gruen Associates; Embassy of the United States in Tokyo, Japan.

9) Kazuyo Sejima

Born in Japan, Sejima is known for her modernist designs with slick, clean lines and shiny surfaces. Her work features various square and cubic designs with large windows and natural light. She has worked on projects all over the world including The River Building at Grace Farm in New Canaan, Connecticut and the New Museum in New York City. In 2010 Sejima became the second woman to receive the Pritzker Prize.

Photos left to right: Kazuyo Sejima; Police box outside Chofu Station in Tokyo; The River Building at Grace Farm in New Canaan, Connecticut

10) Gae Aulenti (1927-2012)

Born in Italy in 1927, Aulenti was a prolific architect whose work included industrial and exhibition design, furniture, graphics, stage design, lighting and interior design. She’s known for several large-scale projects including the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, the Contemporary Art Gallery at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the restoration of Palazzo Grassi in Venice, and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. She was one of the only women designing in post-war Italy, and her work has received numerous awards around the world.

Photos left to right: Gae Aulenti in 1986; restored of Palazzo Grassi; Centre Pompidou

ICAA Regional Intensive in Classical Architecture

October 31, 2017 in Projects

This past week our Beverly Hills team attended the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art’s regional intensive in classical architecture. This eight day course focused on the fundamentals of architectural design, with classes being taught by some of the best architects in the field of classical design. The classes featured a balance of lectures, studio work, and guided tours.

We were honored to receive scholarships for the majority of our architecture team, which allowed our entire team to participate in this educational experience. In order to create stunning contemporary architecture, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of classical architecture. A firm understand of classical conventions can be applied to all styles of design and elevate the final product into a house that is harmonious and visually pleasing. 

The intensive was held at the Greystone Manor, a name familiar to anyone who knows Beverly Hills architecture. This stunning Tudor Revival mansion was the ideal location for our architecture team to immerse themselves in the craftsmanship of the era. The team’s favorite part was learning about ink washing and creating their own washes – a trickier process than you’d expect!

A huge thank you to the ICAA for putting on this intensive. Our architecture team can’t wait to put the knowledge they learned to use!