Venice Beach's Architectural Renaissance

The Southern California neighborhood has been a haven for young L.A. architects including Thom Mayne and Michael Rotundi

Joshua Sale can still remember when the streets of his old neighborhood in Venice, California were lined with tiny 1920s cottages and prowled by gang members. He recalls hearing gunshots and dropping to the floor of the 800-square-foot bungalow he bought in 1974. "My neighbors were members of a gang called the V13s," he says. "Venice was a different place back then." Sale, who recently had his bungalow reconstructed by Johnston Marklee Architects after the home burnt down in a fire, also harkens back to a period of Venice's history when several prominent Los Angeles architects were coming into their own. His home — which includes a 400-square-foot garage and studio known as the 2-4-6-8 Studio, designed by Morphosis in 1978 and undamaged by the subsequent fire — shares a piece of that history.

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