A gem among the midcentury homes of California, this is Clear Oak

A gem among the midcentury homes of California, Clear Oak by Woods Dangaran, is an artfully renovated residence in Los Angeles

an example of the midcentury homes of California, Clear Oak hero exterior in los angeles
(Image credit: Joe Fletcher)

The midcentury homes of California often go against the stereotype of modernist architecture being clinical and cold. The 20th-century bungalows that dot Los Angeles are a case in point, designed to be warm and flexible, often built with natural materials and a human scale that is intimately connected with the outdoors. Such a piece of residential modernist architecture, in the heart of Los Angeles County, in Encino Village, has been recently thoroughly refreshed by local architecture studio Woods + Dangaran – winner of Best Private House in the Wallpaper* Design Awards 2023, for Desert Palisades

white modernist home in la

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher)

Clear Oak: a gem among the midcentury homes of California

Titled Clear Oak, the structure is nestled in the hills overlooking the San Fernando Valley, and the San Gabriel and Santa Susana mountains. The residence, created for a private client and spanning 4,800 sq ft, brings together open spaces with a generous entertainment deck, an infinity pool and native plants and trees, with minimalist interiors, filled with art and midcentury furniture and influences that link back to the home’s 20th century origins. 

clear oak house in LA looking inside from the terrace outside

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher)

The team at Woods + Dangaran looked after both the architectural renovation and the interior refresh. Subtle adjustments in lines and openings – including a straightening of the roofline and a gentle enlargement of windows and doorways – meant the residence pays homage to its origins while shifting more towards the vistas and adapting to its new owner’s fondness for entertaining. 

overgrown garden and sculpture on the grounds of clear oak, a renovated modernist house in la

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher)

The team was headed by partners Brett Woods and Joseph Dangaran, whose joint portfolio includes more modernist wonders, among them the 1965 Craig Ellwood-designed Moore House, and Carla Ridge, a new-build home that interprets the region’s rich architectural heritage for the 21st century. The architects’ careful hand and extensive experience in the genre have resulted in Clear Oak having already scooped up multiple awards, including a citation in the Residential category at the AIA (the American Institute of Architects) Los Angeles, and the Chicago Athenaeum Museum’s American Architecture Award for 2022. The home once belonged to Bing Crosby’s manager – and it’s clear that this elegant redesign ensures it will continue to offer both a warm domestic haven and a covetable space for socialising for years to come.  

dining space in clear oak, a house in los angeles

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher)

clear oak interior, a house in los angeles

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher)

view and open spaces from bedroom at clear oak house

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher)

bedroom at clear oak house

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher)

gardens at clear oak, a house in LA

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher)

study in modernist renovation in los angeles

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher)

clear oak los angeles house and pool

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher)

 woodsdangaran.com 

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).