Douglas Teiger, AIA
Janice Francois, CID, ASID
Kathy Nicolay Oedman
A Hollywood Writer’s Family Treehouse
With an established Hollywood career and a busy family, Etan Cohen looked to create a space that served both as a creative home office and as a playful refuge for his wife and kids. Having written screenplays such as Tropic Thunder, Madagascar, and Get Hard, Cohen’s comedic and approachable personality served as inspiration for the ATA design team.
Upon entry, one is greeted by an impressive three-story atrium, accented by steel-framed glass floors and topped with pitched roof ceilings. A living tree is stationed on the ground level, sprouting up through the multi-tier stairwell. The space is configured as a loft-like modern treehouse with an inverted floorplan, positioning the primary living spaces on the top floor for maximum light exposure.
On the basement level is Cohen’s home office – which embraces the more industrial aesthetic of the surrounding building materials. The space is graced with natural light that trickles down through the home’s transparent layers, something unusual for a basement. Cohen is a collaborator and he wanted his space to support a communal and creative environment. A separate entrance allows people to come and go without disturbing the household. The walls are adorned with posters of the movies Cohen has accomplished throughout the years. The office also features a private screening room.
The second story sits slightly pulled back on all sides to make room for peripheral skylights, allowing natural light to permeate into the lower levels.
Glass is a prominent material used throughout the residence, seen from the very top of the structure in the form of expansive skylights and layered all the way down through the various levels of walkways. Not only does this articulate volume, but it also allows the natural light to stream through all levels of the home.