Working with a new client, Bittoni Architects approached this investment duplex property in Los Angeles’ Sawtelle neighborhood with a modern, minimalist take on a traditional, picturesque home. Totaling 4,475 square feet, the new build is the first duplex development on the street and is situated amongst a mix of older homes that were primarily built between the 1920s and ‘50s with more contemporary new-builds sprinkled throughout. While the owner of the duplex initially intended to live in the rear unit, the cutting-edge design has resulted in an influx of interest in both units since completion in Q3 2022, which the owner now plans to entirely rent out. 


In designing the two standalone units, Bittoni Architects’ Principal, Mark Bittoni, was inspired to create a property that felt familiar and welcoming, yet completely one-of-a-kind – beginning with an iconic pitched roof that is synonymous with the connotation of “home.” Crafted from asphalt shingles, the matte black pitched roof on both the front and back units not only evokes familiarity but proves that simple, classic architecture can be transformed into something exciting and unexpected. The light pine and white stucco facade of each unit draw visual interest in the residential neighborhood without compromising the historical integrity of the area best known for its sought-after food scene. Large windows with contrasting black frames allow the southern California sunshine to flood in from all sides of the two homes, while skylights provide a constant source of natural light. With no shared walls for added privacy, the front and rear units are connected by an enclosed courtyard intended for use by the back unit tennants, while the street-facing unit features a private front patio.  


Moving indoors, the serene, ethereal exterior is seamlessly integrated throughout the home’s gallery-like interior. Oak wood floors ground each unit as the angular interior reinforces the contemporary composition. The statement kitchen takes cues from the exterior roof and window frames, highlighting a monochromatic moment of matte black countertops, appliances, and a sizeable island that provides additional seating space. The floor plan opens up to a light-filled dining area and living room. A slightly curved wall provides a softness in the living space that juxtaposes the sharp, clean lines seen throughout the entirety of the home. 


Upstairs features two secondary bedrooms and a master suite. Upon arrival on the second floor, you are greeted by two large windows that flood the space with light. The two windows sit almost perpendicular to one other – one against the wall and the other situated as a skylight on the pitched roof. Adjacent to the six foot window are four large custom oak closet doors.


The primary bathroom spotlights a double vanity with white neolith countertops and laminate wood cabinets. White subway tile provides a clean backdrop for the walk-in stall shower while the standalone oval soaking tub leans into the home’s airy, spa-like feel. Gray tiled flooring reflects the sunlight that bounces in from the two windows and skylight overhead. 


Throughout this eye-catching duplex, Bittoni Architects’ achieves an exceptionally modern design without sacrificing comfort and warmth. Playing with sizable windows and light from all angles, this project is exemplary of how smart, strategic, and thoughtful architecture impacts the way people live and experience their homes. 


Note: All interior furniture is sourced from luxury consignment furniture store Modern Resale, featuring brands including Edra, Vitra, Poliform, Minotti, Lema, Gilles Caffier Paris, and Amat. 




Los Angeles, CA