Project: Laurel Way - Architect: Whipple Russell Architects - Location: Beverley Hills California
The property, high up on a hill in Beverly Hills, held the possibility of providing a glorious panoramic view from downtown to Santa Monica and the Pacific.The steep lot was addressed by cutting away the hilltop; providing a flat pad upon which the house could be built, and then surrounding it with terraced retaining walls.
"The immediate experience upon entering the house is its inherent weightlessness – the sense that the walls appear to float as panels and you are always connected to the outdoors. This is achieved with adherence to precise symmetry of beams, support panels, tiles, and sight lines, and also that walls do not meet the ceilings - a one-half inch gap is left that helps achieve the effect."
Laurel Way was designed so that each room or space should be a jewel box, an individually conceived, precisely functional and dramatic sensory experience with its own depth of architecture. Central to the composition are many of Marc Whipple’s signature elements, one being the use of texture; smooth next to rough stone, rich wooden panels against glass, and glass reflecting water.
The home's elegant one-of-a-kind moat water feature flows from the pool encircling the house in a horseshoe shape. At 42 inches deepreplaces the need for railings, enhancing the floating quality of the design. And atop it all is the master suite, which opens on to a 2,500 sq.ft. deck.
Much of the West Coast living takes place outdoors. Therefore, special attention was paid to the decks, patios and outdoor spaces including outside eating, cooking and entertainment areas, a spa, fire features, and the swimming pool.
These elements play up the horizontals and verticals of the house while movement and curves come from the three tiers of greenery and two water channels that surround the house giving it the look of an island floating against the blue California sky.
“I wanted a contemporary house, but with enough texture, color and warmth to be romantic,” the client stated. He loved the architects use of glass, water, light, and his ability to bring all these elements together successfully, " the client stated.
On the other side of the property, the guest suite sits above the five-car garage providing a living room, a gym, and a small office.
Images courtesy of Whipple Russell Architects