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Cliff May Experimental House

The Cliff May Experimental House was built by Cliff May in the early 1950s as his family’s fourth house and developed to push his ideas of “bringing the outdoors in” and open interior planning. The one-story, 1800-sf house is a simple rectangle in plan with a 288-square foot open skylight in the center. May’s family of five created different rooms by using movable partitions. The family resided in the home for two years, while May determined how the sizeable skylight and open plan functioned for the residents there. From this experience, the home “Mandalay” was designed by May, which became the last home for his family.

This house is located at 1831 Old Ranch Road in the Riviera Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles. Thomas D. Church & Associates, Landscape Architects. Peggy Galloway, Interior Designer. It was recognized as a City of Los Angeles Historic Cultural Landmark in 2002. In 2007, design firm Marmol Radziner restored the historic home, re-establishing the open floor plan, replacing the roof, and bringing the home up to current code. The firm also provided landscape design and interior design services.

Cliff May (1909–1989) was an architect practicing in California best known and remembered for developing the suburban Post-war “dream home” (California Ranch House), and the Mid-century Modern.

Projects and the Ranch-style house
May grew up in San Diego, California. He built Monterey-style furniture as a young man. As a residential/building designer, May designed projects throughout Southern California, including the regions around San Diego, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara, California. He is credited with creating the California Ranch-style house in 1932. He never had the need to formally register as a licensed architect.

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May, over the course of his career, designed numerous commercial buildings, over a thousand custom residences, and from model house prototypes more than eighteen thousand tract houses had his imprint. May synthesized Spanish Colonial Revival architecture with abstracted California adobe ranchos and Modern architecture. Robert Mondavi chose May to design his winery in which he incorporated features found in construction of California Missions.

May died in 1989, at the age of eighty, at his estate “Mandalay” in Sullivan Canyon, in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.

Source From Wikipedia