Holly Hunt and architects Johnston Marklee have created a warm and tactile space in a 1940s building.
Design aficionado Holly Hunt has collaborated with architects Johnston Marklee on its new Los Angeles showroom. The new space on Highland Avenue draws on graphic codes in its contemporary rethink of an industrial-style 1940s building, creating a warm ‘house within a house’ concept that situates two free-standing villas inside the building’s original concrete form.
‘Our concept was to nod to our roots in residential design,’ explains Joannah Kornak, executive creative director of Holly Hunt. ‘We were very intentional about incorporating architectural elements that balanced the timeless elegance of Holly Hunt with the more urban grit of LA to create a dynamic environment that would inspire and engage our audience of architectural and interiors professionals. We wanted to create a destination for the LA design community, built with Holly Hunt’s signature timeless modernity.’
The unique juxtaposition of industrial and elegant design codes takes its cue from the surrounding Sycamore District, with the character of the building itself making a raw foil for the bronze, leather and grey marble finishes.
For Sharon Johnston of Johnston Marklee, the space was a natural backdrop for the warmth and tactility of Holly Hunt’s portfolio. ‘We immediately recognised the potential in the scale of this interior to showcase the many dimensions of Holly Hunt’s products: from the intimacy of domestic interiors to the furniture settings of a commercial lobby or an outdoor patio,’ Johnston says. ‘By nesting two “villas” within the warehouse shell, we created comfortable, domestically scaled inside spaces and outside zones with tall ceilings and views to the city that are further delineated by materials – raw oak flooring within the rooms of the house, and light grey terrazzo outside – and through lighting, daylighting and various furniture vignettes.’
The villas are surrounded by a gallery space inspired by an exterior street, building on Holly Hunt’s past reinventions of traditional showrooms. ‘Since we opened the doors of our first Holly Hunt showroom almost 40 years ago, our approach was to combine elevated architecture and furnishings in composed rooms and spaces, displaying them in the context for which they were designed,’ adds Kornak.
‘The design feels authentic and relevant to Los Angeles yet captures the essence of Holly Hunt’s aesthetic, which is timeless elegance with a focus on materiality.’
It is this celebration of materials that directly inspired the design for Johnston. ‘The design draws strength and a sense of timeless relevance from the balance of the industrial rawness of the base building – and elemental materials such as raw plaster, matte terrazzo, honed marble, and raw oak – with the more luxe materials that are part of the brand’s signature, including bronze metals, marbles and granite, glass and leather,’ she says. ‘The harmony of contrasting tones and textures highlights the specialty finishes, colours and details of the Holly Hunt products in relation to the rawness of the industrial shell.
‘The dynamic equilibrium of high and low finishes, rough and refined surfaces, within a space that is at once domestic and industrial in scale, offers a unique setting to discover the craftsmanship of the pieces in an interior that is both casual in atmosphere and bespoke in detail.’