Meet California’s Thoroughly Modern Modernists

In a new book, architects Woods + Dangaran reveal how they are reinventing modernism for this century

Photography by JOE FLETCHER


The pool at Desert Palisades.


In 2013, Los Angeles–based architects Brett Woods and Joseph Dangaran founded their eponymous firm on a pledge to keep the spirit of modernism alive in California, attuning its principles to 21st-century living while minimizing visual noise. Ten years later, the monograph Woods + Dangaran (Rizzoli New York, $75) details some of the pair’s quintessential projects: both new builds and passion projects through which they restored, renovated and maintained historic homes in L.A. and surrounding areas for future generations.

“These projects represent the values that we use to approach every project: the connection of interior to exterior spaces, the importance of each home conversing with the landscape and blending with the context, the use of natural materials so that the homes are timeless in their design and are not influenced by short-term trends,” says Woods, whose own home, settled over a natural arroyo in Palm Springs’ Desert Palisades, is the first to be showcased in the book’s glossy pages.


A glass bridge joins the two rectangular wings of architect Brett Woods’ Palm Springs Desert Palisades home.


Sumptuous photography documents the restoration of Moore House, a 1950s Craig Ellwood home in Los Feliz, where the firm added a swimming pool carefully oriented on the central stair axis for a formal feel, and interiors rich in teak wood, volcanic ash-glazed porcelain tile, green Verde Borgogna marble and other unique fabrics—including a custom bed crafted from tufted leather.


The Moore House in Los Feliz—a 1965 Craig Ellwood property that Woods and JOSEPH DANGARAN returned to its former charm.


The Clear Oak residence in Encino features enlarged windows and floor-to-ceiling glass doors.


“These projects represent the values that we use to approach every project”

Brett Woods


Creeping fig vines cover the exterior of a Culver City home.


Custom furnishings inside a Scandinavian-inspired Mar Vista abode.


A planar 5,000-square-foot Clear Oak residence on a three-acre lot—believed to have once been the home of Bing Crosby’s business manager—was updated for entertaining while remaining true to its original architectural language. Reimagined outdoor spaces include a firepit-anchored lounge, a vegetable garden and a cantilevered, corner infinity-edged pool fronting the master bedroom. Inside, from a blind approach, travertine-floored, glowing teak interiors open to immediate panoramic views of the San Gabriel and Santa Susana mountains.

“Having the opportunity to reflect on our practice has been an important process for us and will help shape the way we approach the next 10 years of our work. Honesty of form, the use of natural materials, and the simplicity and focus on detailing remain a part of daily conversation in the studio,” adds Dangaran.

“It is a humbling experience to have gone through the process of having our work memorialized in print.”


Feature image: Brett Woods’ Palm Springs Desert Palisades home is perched above existing boulders.


This story originally appeared in the Fashionable Living 2022 issue of C Magazine.

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