L.A. property values being what they are, Linda Pollari and Robert Somol, partners of architecture firm P XS, built their home on a lot that required, in architect-speak, a "very specific solution." The problem was the 80,000-or-so cars that pass right by their plot every day, at the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and South Highland Avenue. Their solution, an 1,800-square-foot home protected from the street by a "wedge" of galvanized steel, listed yesterday for $1.7M.
Pollari and Somol are now divorced, but for a time they ran their firm from the home. On the steel wall's interior side, built-in shelves of books above the long strip windows muffle the sound of the street for what the listing deems a combined "kitchen-lounge-gallery." In 2007, Pollari told Architectural Record that every time the traffic camera takes a picture, it's like a "flash of lightning inside the house."
Anecdotes like this, and the sleek but warm combination of stucco, rock, and purple-stained Douglas fir on the interior make it sound as if "the drama of the street" really could be an acquired taste. The pair made sure to select easy to maintain materials for the exterior, like the penny round tile around the pool, but the cleaning averse should be warned: "brake dust is really dirty."