Revived Craig Ellwood house celebrates California modernism

Revived Craig Ellwood house celebrates California modernism

Moore House, originally designed by iconic midcentury architect Craig Ellwood and now painstakingly renovated by Woods + Dangaran, is a fine example of California modernism

A 1965 Craig Ellwood house in the LA neighbourhood of Los Feliz has been given a new lease of life with an extensive restoration by Los Angeles architecture studio Woods + Dangaran. Called Moore House, the home unites the best of what California modernism has to offer; midcentury interiors, open plan spaces, clean and sharp volumes that are softened by the use of wood, architectural gardens and glazed expanses that afford long views of the cityscape beyond. 

When the team was awarded the commission, the house was in a bad state, Brett Woods and Joseph Dangaran, recall. The two co-founders of the boutique architectural firm have a wealth of high quality, modernist-inspired homes under their belt, such as their recent new-build Carla Ridge Residence. Now, ‘the shell of the home is upgraded to preserve the longevity of the structure and to meet contemporary performance standards,’ they explain. 

swimming pool and koi pond in California at renovated modernist Moore house

At around 1700 sq ft, the house is not very big, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in drama, heritage and design value, and architectural flair. An open plan interior offers a flowing sequence of communal areas with a double aspect – looking both towards the entrance, and the rear garden with decked terrace and swimming pool. Two double bedrooms occupy the two ends of the long, linear floorplan. 

Inside, the architects kept the spirit and style of the original interior, using natural materials and saving any existing detailing possible. Earth-toned ceramic tile, ribbed glass, brass-plated hardware, dark marbles with golden veining, black granite, and honey-toned teak create a colour and texture palette that feels luxurious, yet warm and welcoming. 

Working with the familiar features of California modernism, Woods + Dangaran breathed new life into this neglected Ellwood house – now the home of a Los Angeles family – helping to preserve this piece of West Coast architecture heritage. §

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