Like stepping back in time, this 1940s Rodney Walker-designed Asher Residence in Sherman Oaks, California is now on the market.
Amazing to think that this one dates back to 1949. Yes, this was genuinely pioneering architecture and a hint of what was to come from the midcentury modern era over the next couple of decades.
It was the work of noted architect Rodney Walker. Although according to the agent, Rodney Walker disliked the title of architect. he saw himself as a ‘designer’ and a ‘hands-on builder’.
But he did provide both the design and vision for the houses he oversaw and his forward-thinking property designs caught the eye of John Entenza who invited him into the now-famous Case Study House Program.
As part of the Case Study House project he designed and built three model homes, which indicates just how highly Walker was thought of at the time. This wasn’t one of them, but it led onto the Asher Residence.
The Case Study House work struck a chord with the ‘arts-oriented’ and ‘forward-looking’ Ashers who hired Rodney Walker to build their family home in the spirit of the Case Study work.
But there was a difference. The Ashers had a decent income coming in and as such, wanted something a little grander, with detailing to match. They got that and more, with the house one of the most important works of Walker’s legacy.
The architecture is still dramatic today, matching and probably exceeding most of the houses I see built today. as I said, something of a template for what came after too, with the walls of glass, open living space, beams and wood-clad walls.
There is so much to catch the eye here, from the bold exterior to the lovingly-preserved interior. At least, I presume it has been preserved. There is a hint of the 1960s in terms of some fixtures and fittings, some of which are likely to be reproductions to fit in with the surroundings. But the majority of what you see here looks to be from the original era.
The flexible living space is packed with period details you would struggle to recreate. Those wooden walls are stunning, as is the feature fireplace, the fitted furnishings, the staircase, the amazing bedrooms areas, a dream of an office, a hip bathroom space and what looks to be the original kitchen space too. All with the occasional modern update for modern-era living.
Some amazing views too. This wasn’t constructed as an afterthought. The location is as much of a selling point as the house itself with its panoramic city views and the mountains in the distance.
As for the layout, that is fairly flexible but currently includes up to four bedrooms, three bathrooms, an open-plan living and dining space, a den and a lower studio/media room. That last room has a separate entrance off the carport.
The plot is worth a mention too. As well as the views you also get land with ‘lush and fruitful’ gardens, as well as ‘complete privacy’. Just as well with all that glass.
Of course, it isn’t cheap, but this would be someone’s dream house if you have $2,995,000.
Images and details courtesy of Crosby Doe Associates. For more details and to make an enquiry, please visit the website.