Mid-century Hills house restored by Sophie Goineau


Designer Sophie Goineau refreshes the mid-century Beverly Hills home

Interior designer Sophie Goineau is leading the redesign of Cove Way, the restoration of a mid-century modernist home in Beverly Hills

A historic mid-century Beverly Hills home designed by Alfred Wilkes has been restored by interior designer Sophie Goineau. Cove Way, a Californian residence set amidst verdant gardens, was built in 1957 in the style of the modernist architectural traditions of that era. Now, after two years of meticulous research and construction work, the house shines in its old glory again – with a twist of the 21st and a minimalist approach “less is more”.

Goineau worked to freshen up existing features and open up the space while maintaining the important overall aesthetic and philosophy of the structure. The four-bedroom house is over 5,000 square meters and consists of an array of straight and curved lines and glass surfaces that open onto the green gardens and the outdoor swimming pool. Pronounced cantilevers on a flat roof reinforce the vertical appearance and elegantly expand the small volume.

The French philosopher Gaston Bachelard and his book published in 1958 The poetics of space, were strong influences on Goineau when she developed her design. “These walls are objects, not just walls,” she explains. “Screen walls filter the light, and the light changes every day, creating a living experience. They don’t block anything. You will always be entrouvert, or partially open. Like humans.’

Crafts were another important influence in Goineau’s work. The designer used a variety of high quality materials, including warm, brown woods, colored terrazzo floors, brass details, bespoke joinery and handcrafted Kolumba clay bricks designed by Peter Zumthor and Petersen Tegl (originally for the Kolumba Art Museum in Cologne). Inspirations for specially designed furniture and furnishings range from Alexander Girard and the Miller House (in Columbus, Indiana) to Charlotte Perriand and Le Corbusier. Examples are the library’s built-in shelving system. “I love to design in a big box,” says Goineau, “and this is where the concept can be found throughout the house, like Russian dolls.”

The modern of Los Angeles meets Beverly Hil’s life, fine craftsmanship and fine furniture design traditions in this private home – a refreshed family space where architecture and design of the 20th and 21st centuries meet. §

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