This spare, contemporary house in Beverly Hills—designed by Leonardo Umansky of Arxis Design Studio—stands out in a residential community renowned for traditional design and oversized statement structures. The clients, a mathematician and an artist, own a comprehensive operetta collection and required specific storage for it. Umansky designed 2,600 feet of built-in shelving for such odd-sized items as posters, vinyl records, sheet music, CDs, and cassettes.
- Paints and stains: Willburn
- Locksets: All Baldwin
- Skylights: Sun Valley skylights
Design concept and solution: The house is based on a centralized plan whose perimeter is fragmented by a media wall. Rather than concentrate the collection into one room, like an archive, the architects distributed the collection throughout the house based on item type. Each programmatic element within the house contains specific items of the collection. The media walls are organized into niche, partition, and freestanding walls.
The central space is a double height rectilinear volume that is directly off the entry and connects to all other rooms. From here one can get a visual sense of the collection’s vastness and extension into other areas of the house. On the opposing long ends of the central volume are two staircases. The front stair is off to the side and the rear staircase is on axis with the front entry, helping to guide the eye upward and diagonally through the central volume and to the rest of the collection.
Arxis Design Studio
5883 Blackwelder Street
Culver City, CA 90232