architecture blog

A Modern Remodel in Long Beach - The 360 House

Posted by Christian Navar on Tue, Sep 1, 2009 @ 08:09 AM

california remodel architects

"Less is More"...

The famous saying is often linked to the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and drilled into every young student immediately after walking into the confines of just about any architecture school in the United States. It is an important idea, but one  overlooked (for unknown reasons) by the previous owner and builder of our client’s residence in Long Beach, California.

modern architects

Fortunately for modative, our client’s goals were perfectly aligned with this famous motto when we were asked to collaborate on a significant remodel of their single-family residence. "How about  'less' of just about everything?", our client asked. Less maintenance, less underutilized bedrooms, less underutilized space, and definitely less terracotta Spanish tiles.

What better way to start practicing Mies van der Rohe’s theories on minimalist architecture than to strip away the out-of-context Spanish tiles that adorned the top of the even more meaningless Mansard roof. Yes, that’s right, I said it... a Mansard roof: a hip-style roof first popularized by French architect Francois Mansart who died in 1666!

mansard roof

Oh and lets us not forget, later revived by famous fast food chains Pizza Hut and McDonald's. Well, since our client wasn’t interested in franchising these popular establishments, and since Long Beach is really, really far away from France and the 1600’s, the roof was the obvious place to start. At least on the outside... 

mansard roof remodel


Modern Remodel

The 360 House with a redesigned roof line (view from street)

After redesigning the roof line, and adding a much more desirable (and functional...) Master Bedroom Suite, a thorough examination and reworking of the interior spaces was next to be considered.  Inside, there were too many bedrooms underutilized since the kids had left the house. So recognizing the entrepreneurial spirit of our clients and their much-deserved desire to work more from home, a new work and loft space was created by combining the upstairs bedrooms and transforming them into the central focus of the expanded interior space.


modern remodel The 360 House - reconfigured ground floor

On the ground floor, we removed  just about every interior wall (less compartmentalization ), and provided more of a connection to the outdoors by opening up the back wall to the large rear yard and newly proposed patio, pool, spa and garden.

Goodbye, France... Hello, Long Beach. 

california remodel

The 360 House - Back yard with new pool and terraced landscaping

contemporary interior remodelThe 360 House - Adding volume to the interior


The 360 House will begin construction in Fall 2009. For more on this project, including a project blog, check out the 360 house project page.

Tags: Modernism, Modern Design, Long Beach, architect website

Some Modative Web Stats

Posted by Derek Leavitt on Mon, Feb 23, 2009 @ 11:02 AM

I find web stats fascinating. They are a quick reminder that the world wide web really is world wide. Although most of our web traffic is from within the USA, 16% of our visiors are from outside our borders. To give you a sense, I thought I'd share this location breakdown of the top 25 countries that have visited in past year to date.

web stats architect firm

Web stats by Google Analytics.

Tags: website update, architect website

An Architect's Website Breaks from the Norm for the Public's Good

Posted by Derek Leavitt on Tue, Jan 20, 2009 @ 10:01 AM

If you've spent any time perusing architect's websites, you'll probably notice one common theme: architects like talking about themselves and their projects. Does this mean architect's are self centered ego maniacs? Well...long pause...not necessarily. Architects, like most businesses, are somewhat obligated to tell you about themselves; show you their work, and give you a feel for if they are the right firm for you.

Unfortunatly, all this "selfish" architect behavior has left us with a world wide web that is pretty void of honest useful advice for all the non-architects out there(ie. our potential clients.) Most people have the feeling that in order to get an architect's help one must hire them first.This approach seems a bit suspect, since few people, have any experience in hiring architects or understanding what it takes to start a project.

So we have to ask ourselves, does all this uncertainty make people want to hire an architect?

The answer: Not really.

This unfortunate reallity has caused us to make a bit of a change to our site here at Modative. A shift away from architecture website norm.

Yes, our site will still mostly be about US with images of projects, profiles of the partners, and a bit about firm philosophy. However, we have added a new section called resources that is dedicated to YOU, our current and (hopefully) future clients. Our hope is that this section will help alleviate some of the uncertainty associated with starting a building project and deciding on an architect. New free resources for non-architects will be added in the coming months that will be available to anyone with a computer and internet access.

An architect's website about you. How's that for some out of the box thinking?

Tags: website update, architect advice, Organization, Architectual Practice, Innovation, architecture resorces, architect website