Inspired by Light – Rustic Canyon by Walker Workshop
Settled in a localised part of Los Angeles, Rustic Canyon by Walker Workshop is an inspiring home that embraces the Hacienda-style through a contemporary lens. Building for a young family, Noah Walker of Walker Workshop is given freedom to design and imbue the residence with modern practices and technologies.
Infused with inspiring new experiences, the home sets itself apart from the surrounding typologies of the Los Angeles neighbourhoods and shines brightly with its own individuality. Further defined by one of the few naturally flowing creeks, Rustic Creek, as well as its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, Rustic Canyon creates its own microclimate, allowing for lush vegetation and several different species of trees to grow. With dramatic lighting and refined proportions, Walker Workshop instils a quiet and sophisticated touch through each wing.
Honouring the client’s desire for a Hacienda-style home, a more traditional Spanish residence from about 100 years ago, Rustic Canyon has been adapted to suit the needs and technologies of the modern age. Spanning over four wings, the floor plan consists of a primary suite wing, children’s wing, guest wing with attached theatre room and a wing reserved for services and the garage. However, needing a central space that connected the wings, Walker Workshop has designed a middle wing – also referred to as the light box – to answer this need. Including a single living room and kitchen space, the light box is emphasised by daring glass windows that allow natural light to flood into the home. With a focus upon unusual light, the middle wing offers the owners a place in which they can experience and enjoy the tracking of light from morning to evening.
With large expanses of glass on the north, east, south and west exposures of the central wing, the welcomed natural light helps to warm each chosen element and bring the living spaces together. Designed to be the heart of the home, the kitchen is also given additional volume through high ceilings and large windows. Moreover, inspired by the idea of a cathedral-type kitchen, the architect installs a large island bench that is inspired by the idea of an altar, and becomes a spot in which the owners can gather and entertain from. By framing the kitchen with the large window, Noah Walker has added a defining moment where the owners can gaze upon the large Maluleka trees that cover the property.
Continuing the emphasis on light, the addition of a skylight in the master suite was an idea of the client, who desired the room to have more visual drama. Due to being both the builder and architect, Walker Workshop was able to make fluid changes throughout and change the design as construction progressed. Capturing the enormous oak tree in the backyard, the master skylight is flanked by the oak wood flooring that is installed in the ceiling, adding for a moment of dramatic intrigue upon entering. With its minimalist approach, the exterior of the home is covered with a stucco palette, whilst the interior employs white oak on the floors and ceiling. Additionally, black aluminium framing is used for the doors and windows.
Walker Workshop imbues the residence with cinematic points of view through deliberate architectural and design elements. Purposely using materials and shapes that provide a calming yet modern aesthetic, Walker Workshop offers its clients a home that allows for them to grow in place.