Look! Right there, at the corner of a bustling intersection near the southern edge of Hancock Park! Is it a Jiffy Lube? A storage facility?
Actually, it’s a one-of-a-kind house hidden away behind a purposely industrial-style façade. The residence’s architecture is juxtaposed against contemporary interiors overlooking a backyard oozing with laidback Palm Springs vibes. Designed and constructed in 2001 by then-married partners Robert Somol and Linda Pollari of the architecture firm P XS — and known as the “Off Use House” — the place was built to serve as a combo office/residence. Whether that use case will continue is up to the next owner — the property, technically located in L.A.’s low-key Brookside neighborhood, is newly up for sale, asking $1.8 million.
The current owners, Kelson and Olivia Berkus — he the grandson of noted architect Barry Berkus — picked up the property in 2020 for $1.4 million. Now they’ve chosen to flip the updated midcentury digs back onto the market for a tad more, complete with a remodeled kitchen and baths sporting all-new fixtures. The pair also added a snazzy vertical-plank wood fence to separate the two-vehicle carport resting on the side of the house from the backyard.
Clad in 100-plus feet of galvanized steel, and boasting dual ribbon windows, the rear of the structure faces the heavily traveled corner of Olympic Boulevard and South Highland Avenue. Inside, three bedrooms and two baths are packed into a little over 1,800 square feet adorned with wood and stone accents, built-ins, clerestory windows and polished concrete floors. Expansive Fleetwood doors glide open to offer seamless indoor-outdoor environs.
Everything is tucked away on a single rambling level of open-concept living space; one end holds two bedrooms converted from the original architects’ former studio, and the other hosts a master suite accessible to the grounds. Featured in the middle portion of the house is a living room and dining area highlighted by a stacked-stone wall, as well as an eat-in kitchen outfitted with stainless appliances and a lengthy island.
Rounding it all out is the compact yet enticing backyard, which is secured by tall hedges and includes a white penny-tile patio surrounding a kidney-shaped pool, a fire-pit and concrete fountain. There’s even a retro neon “cocktails” sign tempting guests to imbibe. Brian Linder and Rick Grahn of Compass serve as the listing agents.