Krystyan Keck helps Zara into her shoes. Keck and Choeff met at Princeton's graduate School of Architecture. The Brooklyn-born Choeff had spent years in Berlin, where he worked on Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum. Keck, an upstate New York native, worked for Rem Koolhaas' firm, OMA, in the Netherlands, where Choeff eventually landed as well. They worked on Koolhaas projects, including the Netherlands Embassy in Berlin; the Casa da Musica orchestra hall in Porto, Portugal; and the celebrated McCormick Tribune Campus Center at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. In 2000, the lure of sunny weather brought the couple to Los Angeles, where they embraced the region's history of experimental architecture. They purchased the Venice property in 2003 for $450,000 and embarked on the expansion with a budget of $400,000.
Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times