The video gaming subculture has been making inroads into many areas of life since the introduction of the first gaming consoles in the 1960s. Since then, generations of boys and girls have grown into avid gamers as adults. One can see this influence expanding into areas such as the gamification of education, as well as in new developments like augmented reality being used in fields like architecture and archaeological research.

In a nod to this pervasive impact, Los Angeles-based studio CHA:COL created this striking loft renovation in LA’s Arts District that has been inspired by an architectural puzzle game called Monument Valley. Done for clients who work as a novelist and a game designer, the interior was transformed from a cluttered space into one that now uses a muted colour palette and forms that echo Monument Valley — a game where the player must solve "impossible", Escher-esque spatial puzzles.


Upon entering, one is faced with an open-plan area that combines lounge with kitchen. Monument Valley’s (and perhaps Escher’s) influence can be best seen in the custom-made unit that separates the smaller work space to the side, from the larger lounge. In obvious reference to the novelist’s craft, the designers have dubbed this unit the "Writer’s Block". Says CHA:COL’s head architect, Apurva Pande on Dezeen:

The writer’s block was envisioned and designed as a two-sided object that clearly demarcated spaces. One side was designed as the more public, entertainment/socializing area while the other, more private side, was designed as a writer’s desk.


Since the clients work primarily from home, the architects wanted to create a space that would stimulate creativity, while offering domestic comforts as well. The architects turned to Monument Valley’s deceptively simple gameplay for inspiration, explains Pande:

Monument Valley is unique in its ability to transform 2D sets of lines and shapes into a surreal 3D landscape that the player inhabits. Since the clients had a gaming, animation background and we loved playing the game as architects, we decided to use is as our central inspiration while designing the space.

Just the way Ida [the game’s central character] moves through tilted planes and angular walls, we envisioned the clients moving through the central creative area into the lounge. Therein lies the interpretation of 3D becoming 2D and vice versa.

The echo of the game’s tilted planes and angular walls are not only seen in the Writer’s Block, but also in the graphic presence of angular carpeting and painted forms on the far wall. There are numerous instances where these angular planes line up with elements in the background to create an eye-catching, 3D optical-puzzle-like effect.


Beyond that, the clients can retreat into seemingly less game-like environments like the bedroom and bathroom.


Bringing together cycles of living and working that are overlaid with a playful sense of space and form, this loft renovation ends up being fun and fresh, without necessarily having to play the game itself. To see more, visit CHA:COL.

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