L.A. Modern: Silver Lake.

Known as “The House Over a Wall,” this Silver Lake property for a family of four was designed by architect Barbara Bestor. The wall, central to the design, affords privacy from the street and allows for a cantilevered second floor. Walls constructed of cement board and blackened wood – charred with blowtorches to give it a rich finish and make it weatherproof – complement the surrounding landscape.

The first floor is a poured-in-place concrete and terrazzo box with a steel frame that allows for an open floorplan. A shiny white ceiling plays off a raw concrete floor while pops of red lead you through the space. “I wanted to give the clients a building that was both cinematic and a celebration of surfaces,” says Bestor.

Upstairs there’s a huge opening in one corner that “makes you feel like you’re seeing the world in Panavision,” says the architect. With the large sliding glass doors open, the second floor has the open airy feeling of a treehouse, and the homeowners can enjoy unobstructed views of Silver Lake Reservoir.

At the rear of the house, large sliding glass pocket doors maximize the experience of indoor-outdoor living. Blurring the lines between the built and natural world – especially in how the kitchen and garden combine into one large and welcoming space – furthers the feeling of pleasing juxtaposition. A pop of yellow around pool says “Barbara Bestor was here” to fans of this talented architect’s work.


While shooting this house, we checked out the local restaurants, shops and architectural points of interest. Here are a few of our favorites in Silver Lake.

Coffee bar designed by Bestor Architecture.
3922 W. Sunset Blvd.

Forage Café
3823 W. Sunset Blvd.

Little Pine Bistro
Founded by musician and activist Moby.
2870 Rowena Ave.

Clare V.
Retail store designed by Bestor Architecture.
3339 W. Sunset Blvd.

Mohawk General Store
4011 W. Sunset Blvd.

Virgil Normal
Menswear store co-founded by Shirley Kurata.
4157 Normal Ave.

VDL Studio and Residences
Home and office of Richard Neutra.
Tours: neutra-vdl.org
2300 Silver Lake Blvd.

Silverlake Conservatory of Music
Designed by Bestor Architecture.
4652 Hollywood Blvd.

  • Absolutely gorgeous design, inside and out. Love the area highlighted features too. Great spot.

  • Stunning designs, i really love it all