Van Dekker House

Comment Woodland Hills, California

I was hyped to be invited to join the MAK Center on another private architectural tour – this time I was headed to the celebrity-abundant Woodland Hills in the Valley. I asked a friend of mine at the time to join me on this venture, as he too had a penchant for beautiful structures. We pulled up to a driveway on Collier Street and could see off top that we were about to enter a rare space. Designed by Master Architect R.M. Schindler and built in 1940, this home was beautifully restored and to the relief of many, made a historical site in 2009.  This three-level house excited with every turn, featuring Schindler's signature built-in furniture, geometric windows, an abundance of natural light, sliding cabinets, and a variety of stairways that lead to hidden nooks throughout the entire space.

The enclosed patio was one of my favorite elements of the house, having the capability of being completely covered and cozy while experiencing the tranquility of the surrounding nature. It was the first time I had seen such a design and I loved it.

Frank Gamwell, who bought the Van Dekker house in 2013 for $700,000, has spent the past 3 years painstakingly restoring every inch of the property and is still putting in the necessary work. He was generous for opening his doors for a private tour and even took a moment to share his hidden wine cellar with us. Upon departure we had to a chance to speak with him further about his love for the home and his neighborhood, in which he mentioned that I could find Chris Brown, Fabio, and Akon within walking distance. I took this as a sign to go speak with Akon about his solar power initiative, but that's another story for another time.

Van Dekker House | 19950 Collier Street, Woodland Hills, CA 91364