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A Box Inside a Box Makes for a Light-Filled, Live-Work Space in Los Angeles

A Box Inside a Box Makes for a Light-Filled, Live-Work Space in Los Angeles

Live Work Loft Feature

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How do you take a windowless box and make it livable? How about putting a glass box in the middle of it to stream light into the interior spaces? That’s what the owner of this Los Angeles home did when converting a warehouse into a dwelling that includes ample studio space.

The 2,730-square-foot home is on the market for $ 990,000.

The interior glass box, which is 10 feet by 12 feet, features four sliding doors that open to an interior courtyard complete with cacti and a barbecue. A ladder leads to the roof, which is prime space  for entertaining or even sleeping. According to listing agent Christiano Sampaio, the owner toyed with the idea of mounting an RV on the roof as a guesthouse.

Glass box inside loft

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Glass box inside loft

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Glass box inside loft

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“It’s comfortable living,” Sampaio says. Because the loft is surrounded by commercial buildings, “you can make as much noise as you want.” The one-bedroom home can be an ideal live-work space for anyone looking for studio space, he adds.

A skylight over the shower was installed so its frame is invisible from below. “It’s like showering outside,” owner Tad Beck told Dwell magazine in 2009.

Skylight over the shower

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Skylight over the shower

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Skylight over the shower

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The living areas are elevated four-and-a-half feet off the ground on a platform, providing abundant storage space below and separation from the work spaces. The living room, kitchen, bedroom, dining area, and full bath are all on the raised platform, while the studio and garage are on ground level, an arrangement made possible by the former factory’s high ceilings.

The kitchen

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The home's kitchen

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The kitchen

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A garage at the front of the home once was used as a second studio. It has its own half-bath, which a new owner could rent out as a studio space, Sampaio says.

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The home also has an array of green features, from the solar panels on the roof, which provide 80% of its electrical needs, to the bamboo flooring and cabinets. But as Beck told Dwell, “the biggest green move we made was that we reused an old building.”

Beck was looking for a home close to the University of Southern California campus, spurred by a housing assistance program for faculty to move to the inner-city area. Now Sampaio says the North University Park neighborhood is on the upswing.

Restaurants and other businesses have followed the professors into the area, Sampaio says. And there’s easy freeway access, which is important in car-dependent L.A.

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