Architectural Digest describes it as a ‘single source shop’ that follows the ‘Master Builder’ traditions. Known for their thoughtful renovations and contemporary design styles, the firm procured the top position in the annual ‘Top 50 Firms in Business’ enlisted by the American Institute of Architects in 2019. Mentioned below are of a few of their notable projects.

Marmol Radziner- 15 Iconic Projects
Marmol Radziner Headquarters, Los Angeles – a 17,000-square-foot aircraft parts factory built after World War II restored to a workspace Source: ©continuingeducation.bnpmedia.com

Founded in 1989 by architects Leo Marmol and Ron Radziner, Marmol Radziner is a design-build practice based in Los Angeles that provides everything from architectural designs, construction details, landscape designs, prefab, furniture, and fixtures. Architectural Digest describes it as a ‘single source shop’ that follows the ‘Master Builder’ traditions. Known for their thoughtful renovations and contemporary design styles, the firm procured the top position in the annual ‘Top 50 Firms in Business’ enlisted by the American Institute of Architects in 2019. Mentioned below are of a few of their notable projects.

1. TREEPEOPLE CENTER

Beverly Hills, California 

The conference center built for the TreePeople Center for Community Forestry draws its inspiration from the natural landscape of the Santa Monica mountains. The design was aimed at interweaving the inside with the outside with the use of glass that allowed transparency and visibility through the site. The orientation, use of materials, and the roof structure were planned to make the best use of the sun and the wind. In addition, other sustainability strategies such as utilizing reclaimed materials were adopted as a result of which the building is LEED Platinum certified. 

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Conference center, TreePeople center for community forestry Source: ©dwell
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TreePeople center uses glass to allow transparency and visibility through the site Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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Interiors of the TreePeople center Source: ©marmol-radziner.com

2. KAUFMANN HOUSE

Palm Springs, California 

The Kaufmann house originally designed by architect Richard Neutra in 1946 was restored to its original form and glory by Marmol Radziner fifty years later. The rugged and sparsely inhabited landscape added to the sculptural nature of the monument, making it extremely important to be brought back to its original form, color, and texture, while giving it a modern outlook. The restoration was done with the help of Julius Shulman’s photographs and archival materials, including Neutra’s drawings from UCLA’s research library. Marmol Radziner was awarded AIA’s National Honor Award in 2000 for the restoration project.

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Image looking into the house from the outside pool area Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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The house with the backdrop of the mountains Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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Interiors of the Kaufmann House Source: ©marmol-radziner.com

3. EXPERIMENTAL RANCH

Los Angeles, California

Designed by architect Cliff May – father of the California ranch-house movement, as his personal residence. The house was designed in an open-plan layout with movable partitions and cabinets, that were replaced with permanent ones by its subsequent owners. The restoration by Marmol Radziner did not intend to impose a contemporary design over the wooden structure with chest wood cabinetry, terrazzo flooring, wood shake roofing, and skylights. Instead, the integrity of the original structure with its exposed wood and rafters were preserved in order to study from the past rather than altering it.

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The experimental ranch Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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The skylights make the spaces light and naturally lit Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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Open-plan design spatial flow and flexibility Source: ©marmol-radziner.com

4. BROOKTREE

Los Angeles, California 

The form consists of three main volumes with large openings carved out of it that blurs the boundaries between the inside and the outside. The main residence is flanked on either side by smaller cement block structures. The minimal exterior finish of concrete and wooden siding along with the structural simplicity sits well with the oak canopy surrounding the property. The building is planned along the exterior edge maximizing the view of the backyard and the natural light into the building. Marmol Radziner was also involved in the landscape design for the project.

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Large openings on either side of the building Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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The cement block structures flanking the main building Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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Interiors of the Brooktree residence Source: ©marmol-radziner.com

5. ACCELERATED SCHOOL

Los Angeles, California 

The accelerated school is a four-story modular structure with a cafeteria and daycare. Complete with shaded courtyards and furnished terraces, it spreads over 12 educational campuses accommodating around 1100 students. The school has an iconic façade of translucent light-diffusing screen that curves around the corner of the site and acts as a safety barrier for the road. Exposed metal girders, braces, staircases, and services set the ambiance of a rather striking industrial building to the school.

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Translucent façade along the road Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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Terraces and courtyards in the school Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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Metal staircase Source: ©marmol-radziner.com

6. HARVEY HOUSE

Palm Springs, California 

Originally built by architects Buff & Hensman for the actor Laurence Harvey in 1969, the house featured exposed post and beam construction with glass walls that ease the boundary between outdoor and indoor. The house is a vast garden surrounded by glass pavilions with a crucifix pool in the center. As part of the renovation process, the walls were knocked off and interiors redone with earthy finishes while the original skeleton of the building was maintained.

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Image from the courtyard Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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The original structure along with the exposed posts and beams remain Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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Glass walls add to the lightness of the structure Source:© marmol-radziner.com

7. JACKSON HOUSE

San Francisco, California 

Standing on a steep hillside property, the Jackson house was originally designed by Hank Schubart and stood as a symbol of the Beaux-Arts period of San Francisco. The glass walls and the retractable skylight brings in the sky and the expansive valley. Marmol Radziner was involved in the restoration and the landscape design of the project while the interiors were done by Charles de Lisle. A third level was added to the two-story structure along with an exterior garden at the lower level.

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Jackson House Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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The house looks over at the valley Source:© marmol-radziner.com
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The retractable skylight and glass walls Source: ©marmol-radziner.com

8. COSTUME NATIONAL

Los Angeles, California 

Costume National, unlike most retail showrooms, manages to establish a connection with the street through its wall-length windows. The clean color palette with pearl grey in the exterior and pure white with stainless steel in the interior allows experimentations with lighting giving the building a new look every time. The simplicity of the façade and the white walls stands for the elegance and finesse of the Italian fashion house.

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Street view of costume national Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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The pearl white interiors Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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The windows connect the interior and the exterior Source: ©marmol-radziner.com

9. LA QUINTA

La Quinta, California 

This elegant holiday home overlooking a golf course with the Jacinto mountain range in the background is truly a conversation with nature. Green courtyards with huge boulders and little desert shrubs do well with the light-colored material palette used in the interiors. But what makes the building stand out is the play of natural light within the building that makes it come alive with its ever changing nature.

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The muted color palette in the interiors Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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Little courtyards with trees and other natural elements Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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Little courtyards with trees and other natural elements Source: ©marmol-radziner.com

10. MANDEVILLE CANYON

Los Angeles, California 

The two-storied structure sits in a tree-filled plot on the Santa Monica mountains. The glazed walls on the ground floor seamlessly integrate it in a landscape of oak and sycamore trees, while making the first floor look as though it is floating in the air. The color palette use complements the greenery outside and makes the building stand out. Marmol Radziner also engaged in the interiors and the landscape design of the project. In the interiors, metallic shades and dark colors help bring the green background to the forefront.

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The ground floor integrates with the landscape and gives a floating effect to the building Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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The dark colors in the interiors bring the greens to the forefront Source: ©alumnr
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Designed with openness in mind Source: ©marmol-radziner.com

11. JAMES PERSE MALIBU

Malibu, California 

The James Perse boutique is designed to resemble a simple beach house with oak cabinetry, teak flooring, and an exposed Douglas fir ceiling. The louvered doors extending the length of the storefront allows the integration of the interior and the exterior deck of the store while the mahogany louvers help manipulate the amount out natural light entering the building. Situated on the site of a timber warehouse, the boutique has a warm illuminated color palette in the interiors that make it welcoming with a dark-paneled exterior.

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Illuminated interiors bring forth drama at night Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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Illuminated interiors bring forth drama at night Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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Illuminated interiors bring forth drama at night Source: ©marmol-radziner.com

12. SCHROEDER COURT

Truckee, California 

Sitting on a mountain slope, the Schroeder Court residence was designed to maximize the mountain vistas filling the entire south façade with full-sized glass windows. The dark colors and material palette merges with the landscape making it a look as though the house simply grew out of the rocky hillside. The house consists of two volumes connected by a glass corridor. The masses are segregated vertically as well with stone on the ground floor and zinc paneling on the upper floor.

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The mass merges with the mountain terrain Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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The mass merges with the mountain terrain Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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The mass merges with the mountain terrain Source: ©marmol-radziner.com

13. SELA RESIDENCE

Venice, California 

The stark contrast between the interior and exterior is what generates interest in these two storied residences. The exterior is a stark concrete façade with the interiors clad in wood paneling with warm illumination. The use of glass and green courtyards generates a sense of lightness in the building while staying within the limits of the narrowness of the site. Sliding doors alongside courtyards and pools allow us to play with the scale of the space, integrating the indoors with the outdoor elements. 

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The college of materials generates interest in the facade Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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The college of materials generates interest in the facade Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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The college of materials generates interest in the facade Source: ©marmol-radziner.com

14. TBWA/CHIAT/DAY

San Francisco, California 

The multi-storied brick office on the embarcadero is reminiscent of an old shipping warehouse. This was recreated through the informed metaphors of the ship in the form of the materials or forms that regenerated the shapes of ship hulls, shipping canisters, etc. Materials like plywood, cork, seagrass mats, fir planking, and steel cables were used for the purpose. The structure and services were exposed to add interest to the interiors.

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Custom furniture was designed Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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Custom furniture was designed Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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Custom furniture was designed Source: ©marmol-radziner.com

15. PALM SPRINGS ART MUSEUM

Palm Springs, California 

Santa Fe Federal Savings and Loan building was restored to create a satellite exhibition space for the Palm Springs art museum. The building originally designed by E. Stewart William was declared Class I Historic Site in 2009 by the Palm Springs City Council and now hosts architecture and design exhibitions. The restoration was done with the help of original drawings and the photographs by Julius Shulman.

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Palm Spring art museum Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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Palm Spring art museum Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
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Palm Spring art museum Source: ©marmol-radziner.com
Akshara Jayasimhan
Author

Akshara is a graduate from SPA-Delhi who believes that the ability to see and read the world around through multiple perspectives is one of the must haves to make a positive change. As an architect, she aspires to develop her writings as a medium of self-expression and self-exploration.

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