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DeLab House Tour Highlights Contemporary Echo Park Homes

Walkable architecture tour focuses on newly built projects

Echo Park modern will be highlighted in a walkable home tour of four recently built local houses Saturday sponsored by DeLab, a nonprofit organization that promotes design east of La Brea Avenue.

DeLab’s S, M, L, XL Echo Park House Tour takes place on Saturday, March 24. DeLab produces two monthly events designed to get people into new neighborhoods and out into the city, says organizer Marissa Gluck.

In 2011 DeLab conducted 20 events, including a popular Design and Dim Sum Bike Ride (the next one is in the planning stages for late May/early June).

The Echo Park House Tour is DeLab's first home tour.

“The four homes were selected because they demonstrate a lot of the same ideas around sustainability and efficiency,” Gluck explains.  While there is some overlap in the use of materials amongst the homes, the guiding theme is efficient living in small spaces.

S, M, & L

John Oddo’s 495-square-foot house is the smallest on the tour and is incredibly compact and efficient. Echo Park’s Good Idea Studio is behind the three-room micro-house.

The three-story high Eel’s Nest is medium-sized at 960 square feet, but it is only 15 feet wide.  The home and office for architect Simon Storey of Anonymous Architects, the building is wedged into a narrow 780 square foot lot and takes its name from Japan’s narrow lot style.  An interior stairwell conveys light like a conduit, maximizing daylight.

Heyday Homes is behind the side-by-side townhomes named Dick + Jane that were completed in May 2011.  One of the 1,600 square foot, three bedroom, two bath townhomes is on the DeLab tour. Among the well-conceived design elements is a sculptural wood staircase with built-in cantilevered shelving.

X-Large by Sunia Homes

Designer/developer Jerome Pelayo and his wife searched for a modern, energy efficient and affordable home in Echo Park. Their 2,000-square-foot two story house—completed earlier this year—is the result of that unsuccessful search and is now a protype design for future Sunia Homes

Pelayo conceived the house to be as energy efficient as possible from the structural insulated panels, to the reuse of bricks and Douglas fir planks from the former bungalow on the property to the wood pellet-burning stove.

Pelayo strived to maximize the lot--the 250 square foot garage has doors that open on both sides, creating a breezeway and allowing access to the small back yard already planted with edible plants. Light fills the second floor, creating an open feel with views from every room.

Everyone Walks in Echo Park

All the houses on the DeLab tour are within walking distance. As Gluck explains, density and walkability are key components to green modern design in an older neighborhood. DeLab events come with an added twist: the group is welcomed at Red Hill at tour’s end for a small gathering. Docents are also needed.  Check the website for future events and tour updates. Gluck adds, “We’re encouraging people to walk so they can explore the neighborhood."

Tickets to the self-directed tour on March 24 from 1 to 4 p.m. are $35 per person. Children under 12 are not allowed.

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