A reinforced concrete two-story building located in Santa Monica, California was constructed during the Second World War for the production of military equipment. Over the years, the building was used for multiple purposes including the initial site of the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-ARC) and the home for numerous street people over extended time periods. Joseph Duda, at the time operating both an architectural consulting business and a construction firm, converted a trashed-out portion of the building as his own live/work space.

The 1350 sf space with 10' ceilings and a studio-long northern window wall, the only natural light source, required extensive architectural surgery. A leveling layer of lightweight concrete was poured over the existing slab and approximately half the floor was tiled; the other half was carpeted. The tiled section housed the "dirty" area - where power tools caused dust. The carpeted portion held the living and design studio space. Virtually the entire live/work area was rewired to bring in track lighting on separate circuits and to handle modern appliances.

The remodel was completed mostly from recycled and salvaged materials. Joseph created a five-sided bedroom with reclaimed casement windows of various sizes and configurations on three sides to allow light from the north window wall to penetrate the southern walls of the studio and the inner bathroom. The addition of interior windows also provided ventilation throughout the studio when power tools were not being used. The architect added salvaged French doors between the living/studio area (the clean space) and the working/studio area (the dirty space).

It took a crew two weeks just to patch holes. $1,000 of primer and semi-gloss paint was sprayed to cover the walls and ceilings as part of the space had at some point been painted black. Thousands of holes in the acoustic ceiling were patched with expandable foam and spot-primed.

Two closely spaced concrete bearing walls (6 feet apart) ran the length of the building. The space between was used for toilet, storage, and a compact galley-type kitchen.
Joseph   Duda
       Dedicated to Craftsmanship, Service, and Integrity.
Architecture
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Santa Monica Studio
contact:  505-501-1984             jcduda.architecture@gmail.com           santa fe, new mexico, usa
3030 Nebraska Avenue
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