This contemporary glass gazebo was designed for a retired aerospace engineer and his accountant wife as a retirement retreat. Nestled in the backyard of a typical suburban home, the gazebo is truly a hidden innovative treasure in the San Fernando Valley. The primary challenge was to create a design for the gazebo which would marry the “old with the new” so to speak.  The design of the gazebo had to be exciting but also complement the existing two-story, gabled, Tudor style home.

Architects: Livia Shi, Designer; Atelier Lsm2 Inc
Status: Built
Location: Chatsworth, CA

The solution was to create an exciting roof which acknowledged the existing home, yet defined the gazebo as a unique entity. Like the spread wings of a California bald eagle, half of the gazebo roof playfully ‘glides’ into the existing home as if to ‘embrace’ the old, while the other half undulates gracefully ‘away’ in a spectacular, yet fluid-like fashion, subtly asserting itself as an independent identity. In essence, the composition of the gazebo – steel, wood, and glass – also asserts a complementary feel; acknowledging the ‘old’ existing home with the use of wood and giving a nod to the ‘new’ future with the steel and glass.

Truly, though, the magnificence of the gazebo lies in the use of gray tempered glass all around for the walls and clear laminated glass for the roof. The dynamic elevation changes in wall heights, from low to high and vice versa, attribute to the general splendor of the glass. Given the small floor area of the gazebo, these elevation changes are very dramatic. With the enhancement of minimalistic lighting, one is particularly struck by the illumination and radiance of the gazebo glass while using the jacuzzi at night. During the day time, the gazebo is a perfect yoga room. One feels particularly close to heaven while raising ones arms in sun salutation and looking up to the sky through the transparent glass roof.

Whether you’re an architecture enthusiast or just a curious spectator, this contemporary gazebo is definitely a must-see building in the heart of the San Fernando Valley.


LIVIA SHI
Principal/Director of Design of Atelier LSM2 Inc.

As Principal, Livia oversees the company’s business opportunities & day-to-day operations of firm. She brings over twenty years of professional experience to the firm. As Director of Design of the firm, Livia generates each project’s overall conceptual design and unique vision. She makes sure that the design theme is carried through from conception to construction.

After graduating from UC Berkeley, Livia embarked on her career with an apprenticeship to famed architect, Stanley Saitowitz, at his office in San Francisco. Following, she worked at reputable Los Angeles area firms – Steinberg Architects and LHA Architects, Inc. Livia has extensive commercial, educational, and residential design experience. While at LHA Architects, Livia served as project lead on several large scale retail developments in Northern and Southern California. She was involved in the master planning, design, and construction administration of these commercial projects. Livia also has extensive experience working with LAUSD on the modernization of various K-12 schools. She also worked at length, with the University of Southern, on the retrofitting of several of their high rise dormitories.

Following her stints with these Los Angeles architecture firms, in 2007, Livia decided to open up her own building design practice, Livia Shi, Designer, which focuses on the design of custom single family residences & furniture design. Her residential projects have been featured in magazines like Azure, Inhabitat, & Valley Scene Magazine. Recently, her furniture design was work included in Interior Design Magazine’s Fall Market Tabloid & Interior Design Magazine’s Decade of Design Book. Livia was also a founding partner of Architecture LS3, Inc. from 2011-2015, a bi-coastal architecture & design firm headquartered in Los Angeles. In her free time, Livia enjoys spending time with her family & playing with her pet bird. Her hobbies include travelling, playing piano, swimming, practicing yoga and golfing. As a native Californian, Livia describes herself as an avid foodie and animal lover.

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