Family Ranch Los Angeles

At the edge of a secluded valley, Family Ranch accommodates an ensemble of structures that spread out across those transitional contours where hillside blends with canyon floor. At the stop of the site, accessed via a long, serpentine drive, a stable and ranch house face each other across a luxuriantly planted courtyard. While the modestly scaled two-story main dwelling is sited along the edge of the level pad, the stables burrow into the hillside, below a show jumping ring.

Exquisitely detailed in sandstone, silvered ipe, parchment-hued plaster and bronze patina’d steel, the home and outbuildings have a rich, natural palette.


"The Ranch enjoys views but is not designed around them. The architecture celebrates the intimacy of small, human-scaled spaces."

Michael Kovac, Founder and Design Partner

Thoughtful Site Strategy

By placing the ring on top of the stables, we took maximum advantage of the site's restrictions by effectively turning an unused space into an active, functional area. Not only did this architectural decision save space, but it also provides a moment of surprise and delight to all those who visit. From the approach, one only sees a ring. Wander down the stairs to the side of the ring, however, and the stables are revealed.

Durable Materials

Given that this project houses large horses, it was necessary to select a palette of durable materials that would withstand daily wear and tear. Ipe wood, which is one of the strongest, hardest, and most naturally resistant woods to abrasion, weather, insects, and rot is employed throughout. Sandstone, known for being tough and weather resistant, can also be seen throughout the project.

A Place of Sanctuary

When the clients requested the project contain a place of sanctuary, we knew precisely what to do. By incorporating a small pond and natural landscaping into the meadow across from the stables, a peaceful area of respite was created. Now, all who visit are invited to slow down and reflect on their beautiful surroundings.

Like many large properties, the Ranch was built over time. Situated close to the canyon’s floor, the Ranch’s second phase comprises a small barn and a guest house that doubles as an artist’s studio. While the ipe-clad structures preserve the material palette of the earlier buildings, each was subtly influenced by Japanese vernacular architecture.

  • Interior Design

    Molly Isaaksen

  • Photography

    Jeremy Bittermann