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An Interview with Lima Residence Designers Abramson Teiger Architects

Jul 01, 2015

The Lima Residence is a beautiful modern home, located in Calabasas.

The property is surrounded by a natural preserve with the Santa Monica Mountains serving as a fitting backdrop for its stunning architecture.

Recently, we spoke with Trevor Abramson, FAIA, partner in charge of design and Douglas Teiger, Managing Partner for Abramson Teiger Architects. The firm was selected by the homes’ current owner to create a residence that would not only harmonize with the natural landscape but perfectly showcase it. Our talk highlights the unique design features of this home and offers a glimpse into the architectural process:


Douglas Teiger, AIA, Managing Partner

This home is located against a nature preserve in Calabasas. Was this the firm’s first time designing a residential property in this sort of environment?

AT: We have completed several homes in the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming. Having this uninterrupted serene nature preserve as the view and backdrop for this house was such an opportunity for the design. Capturing and framing views and opening the house to the natural view were paramount.

What challenges were inherent in creating a home where the surrounding environment is abundant natural landscaping?

Positioning the prime rooms so that the view could be integrated into the lifestyle resulted in a house that feels like it is in the wilderness even though it is less than a fifteen minute drive to busy suburban centers.

On that note, did you work more closely than usual with the landscape designer on this property?

How the house opened up to the exterior was key to our architecture. Complementing the exterior design with good landscape allowed the house to shine and still feel part of its surrounding environment.

Orange is used to an incredible effect on both the facade and in the interior of this home. Did the homes’ surroundings have an effect on your choice of color?


Trevor Abramson, FAIA, Design Principal

We wanted the house to be rooted in its surroundings and we picked a color of the earth to connect the house to the ground. The orange hue picks up the tones of the dramatic sunsets as well as the natural scrub of the hills. Indoor outdoor interaction plays an important role in our designs and by unifying the visual language strengthens this idea. Thus, the orange was used both on the exterior and the interior.

How is this home exemplary of your firm’s general aesthetic voice?

We have been practicing architecture for the past 28 years here in Los Angeles and have realized that constant design themes keep reoccurring in our work. We attribute this to our Southern California Lifestyle. We have weather here that is perfect for rooms with no doors, for rooms with walls of glass, perfect for spaces with soft filtered light. Our houses are light and fresh with spaces that open up dramatically and with vistas that extend the indoor space. We layer spaces to heighten the anticipation of what will come next. We create homes that offer dramatic excitement and that are architecturally stimulating but not to the point where tranquility is lost. Our home is our retreat. We create homes that are a spiritual refuge from the hectic pace of life. Another design element that we attribute to Southern California lifestyle is the need for protecting the windows from our strong sunshine. We design roofs that extend over windows offering this protection and also heighten the dramatic effect of the form. Strong indoor outdoor interaction is another typically Southern California lifestyle theme that governs our work. The doors on the living room and dining and kitchen completely retract into the walls, removing all barriers between the house and its garden, between the nature preserve and the private garden. The Lima residence exemplifies these themes present in Abramson Teiger’s architecture.

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