Designer Sophie Goineau refreshes mid-century Beverly Hills home
Interior designer Sophie Goineau leads the redesign of Cove Way, the restoration of a mid-century Modernist house in Beverly Hills
A historic mid-century Beverly Hills home by Alfred Wilkes has been restored by interior designer Sophie Goineau. Cove Way, a Californian residence set in the middle of a green park, was originally built in 1957 according to the Modernist architectural traditions of the time. Today, after two years of meticulous research and construction work, the house has regained its former glory – with a 21st century twist, while drawing on themes from great modernists, such as Richard Neutra, Harold Levitt and Mies van der Rohe and a minimalist “less is more” approach.
Goineau worked on refreshing the existing elements and opening up the space while maintaining the important overall aesthetics and philosophy of the structure. The house, which covers approximately 5,000 m² and has four bedrooms, is made up of an arrangement of straight and curved lines and expanses of glass that open onto the green gardens and the swimming pool outside. The pronounced overhangs of a flat roof enhance the vertical feel and visually extend the low volumes elegantly.
French philosopher Gaston Bachelard and his 1958 book, The poetics of space, were strong influences on Goineau as she developed her design. “These walls are objects, not just walls,” she explains. “Screen walls filter light, and every day the light changes, creating vivid experiences. They don’t block anything. They will always be half-opened, or partially open. Like humans.
Craft was another key influence in Goineau’s work. The designer used a variety of rich materials including warm brown woods, colorful terrazzo flooring, brass detailing, bespoke joinery and hand-crafted Kolumba clay bricks designed by Peter Zumthor and Petersen Tegl ( originally for the Kolumba Art Museum in Cologne). Inspirations for specially designed furniture and accessories range from Alexander Girard and Miller House (in Columbus, Indiana) to Charlotte Perriand and Le Corbusier. Examples include the library’s integrated shelving system. “I like to design in a big box”, explains Goineau, “and here the concept is present throughout the house, like sets of Russian dolls”.
Los Angeles modernism meets Beverly Hils’ traditions of living, fine craftsmanship, and furniture design at this private home – a refreshed family space where 20th and 21st century architecture and design meet. §