A complex of two offset cubes, the Danziger Studio and Residence is an understated token of early Gehry architecture.
Namesake resident Louis Danziger, a distinguished graphic designer, conceived of a dual structure to serve as his workplace and home, housed in a single site on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood, CA.
Introduced to Frank Gehry through a mutual friend and colleague, Fred Usher, this basic concept was presented with the hope that the architect would realize the building within three months for under $80,000. Gehry accepted, and his elaborations on Danziger’s concept would begin his project to endow these separate spaces with distinct functions/values.
Completed in 1965 and occupied by the Danzigers for 30 years, the low-profile structure is one answer in Gehry’s career-long exploration of building materials and techniques working in tandem with aesthetic and sustainability.
The facade strongly features stucco, marking only the second occasion in which Gehry used this classically-LA surface material. In the interior, exposed two-by-four ceilings showcase the materials of construction as the finish itself, rendering the building’s utility and ornament synonymous.
Thick double studded walls lend a fortress strength to the composition, and unique clerestory windows and skylights fold light into double height spaces while preserving privacy at street level. The result is a sanctified arena for work and repose, completely insulated from the activity of its busy surroundings and free of visual distraction.