Dan Brunn lived across the street from a house in Los Angeles for seven years. By the time it came up for sale, he’d had ample time to imagine how he might rebuild it. His firm, Dan Brunn Architecture, bought the building and started designing a remodel. Brunn’s challenge was to juggle nature with neighborhood views and incorporate a seasonal creek that ran through the property. In the end, he decided to tear down the existing structure and build the house not next to the creek but above it.
What was soon named Bridge House is 210 feet long and just 20 feet wide, a house shaped like a line of boxcars that flies buttress-like above the banks of the creek that runs through its one-third-of-an-acre lot. As the project progressed, Brunn decided not only to use the house as a calling card for his business but to actually move in. Living there in turn changed his outlook on the built environment. “It has made me appreciate nature even more,” he says. “New projects are taking this connection to new horizons.”
Brunn spent his early years in a farming town north of Tel Aviv before his family moved to Los Angeles when he was 7 years old. It was the Bauhaus architecture of Tel Aviv, he says, that gave him a desire to become an architect. The 4,500-square-foot Bridge House also exemplifies a minimalist aesthetic that Brunn has become known for and demonstrates innovative systems that serve to bring in light and expand volume. It’s one thing to design and hand off a house; it’s another to live there through four seasons. “I am constantly discovering new moments throughout the house, as the house accepts the sun’s beams, with shadows ever present,” he says.
Living and working at Bridge House brought Brunn an intimate connection with his creation. In other words, the master closet is not just a closet but his closet. “I think of it more as a room than a closet,” he says. The shelves appear to float off the back wall and promote a sense of unconfined space. The design matches Brunn’s sensibilities and, he says, “exudes the rhythm of Bridge House.”
Far from being one long corridor, Bridge House embraces the landscape outside thanks to its many windows and slender width. It’s a true indoor-outdoor design, and Brunn says he’s fortunate to have a home and office that act as “a tool toward nature.” When he is not playing the baby grand piano or relaxing among this modern art collection, the elongated house also forces him to walk a lot each day, racking up steps taken on his fitness tracker device, which is certainly a bonus if you are there 24-7.