Trousdale Estates by famed developer Paul Trousdale, located in Beverly Hill, Ca. | The Hardt
Trousdale Estates by famed developer Paul Trousdale, located in Beverly Hill, Ca. Trousdale Estates is a 410-acre enclave of large, luxurious homes in Beverly Hills, California. Primarily developed in the 1950s and ’60s, it quickly became famous for its concentration of celebrity residents and the unrestrained extravagance of its midcentury modern architecture. Often working with unlimited budgets, these designers created sprawling, elegant backdrops for the ultimate expression of the American Dream in the mid-to-late twentieth century. In Trousdale, Price explores the architectural backgrounds, details, and floor plans of the amazing homes, giving readers an inside view of the world-famous Beverly Hills style. Lavish new photography is interspersed with archival and historic images, illustrating the glamour of Trousdale both then and now.
Very few, if any, other places on the planet can claim such a concentration of talent, power, wealth, and, thanks to its rash of drop-dead gorgeous architecture from the mid- to late 20th century, good taste. It’s Old Hollywood glamour at its finest and freshest. Historically snubbed by more grandiose and established corners of Beverly Hills and Bel Air, the leafy realm—originally a sprawling estate owned by members of the Doheny oil dynasty—has more recently earned stable recognition for being an architectural treasure. Trousdale Estates (Regan Arts, $75), a new coffee-table tome by producer and historian Steven M. Price, who chronicles in its pages the area’s famous residents, historical milestones, and society gossip. Not to mention its cache of images revealing the 410-acre neighborhood’s homes designed by luminaries such as Lloyd Wright (son of Frank Lloyd Wright), Wallace Neff, Buff & Hensman, and Cliff May, among many others. As architect Brad Dunning writes in the book’s foreword, “But most of all it’s (cocktail) time to revel in a strange and extraordinary past, place, and era.”
This is an absolute must-own coffee table book for any midcentury modern enthusiast, especially if you live in Los Angeles. The price for this book has gotten way ridiculous even though its one of the more well-produced books in my collection so I would recommend waiting until the prices go down due to copies coming to market or it is decided that they will publish the second edition. Regardless, make sure you find a way to own this book, I was fortunate to have been at the right place at the right time and was able to purchase my copy on pre-order.
Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:
Situated in a remote part of Desert Hot Springs, CA, United States, Desert House by Marmol Radziner | The Hardt
Situated in a remote part of Desert Hot Springs, CA, United States, Desert House by Marmol Radziner. The 2,000 ft² (297 m²) Winter retreat employs four house modules and six deck modules. The Desert House, Marmol Radziner Prefab’s prototype home is oriented to best capture views of San Jacinto peak and the surrounding mountains. Located on a five-acre site in Desert Hot Springs, California, the house extends through the landscape with covered outdoor living areas, which double the 2000 square-foot interior spaces. A detached carport allows the owners to “leave the car behind” as they approach their home.
Designed for Leo Marmol and his wife Alisa Becket, the Desert House employs four house modules and six deck modules. Sheltered living spaces blend the indoors with the outdoors, simultaneously extending and connecting the house to the north wing, which holds a guest house and studio space. The house hovers two feet above the desert landscape, anchored on a recessed platform. The main living space unfolds west to views of the San Jacinto and San Gorgonio mountains. Open frames provide sheltered living spaces blending indoors and outdoors, while simultaneously extending and connecting the house to the north wing containing a guesthouse and studio space. By forming an “L”, the home creates a protected environment that includes a pool and fire pit.
The home is built with prefabricated technologies in a factory. Using steel framing, twelve feet wide modules can extend up to sixty-four feet in length and use any type of cladding, including metal, wood, or glass. The Desert House is built with three types of basic modules: interior modules comprising the living spaces, exterior modules defining covered outdoor living areas and sunshade modules providing protection from the sun. The design of the home employs passive and active solar technologies as well as sustainable design concepts. Solar panels provide power used by the house. Sunshades on the south and west facades minimize the impact of the harsh summer sun. In the colder months, concrete floors provide passive solar heat gain.
The CorTen Steel House by Faulkner Architects, located in Orinda, California, United States | The Hardt
The CorTen Steel House by Faulkner Architects, located in Orinda, California, United States. The house which recently won an AIACC Honor Award is located on an ex-urban infill site that covers almost eight acres of a Bay Area suburb at the base of the Oakland Hills, draped in rich green foliage and native oak trees. Dense observation of the landscape, climate, culture, and existing uses and patterns of the site were worked out in conversation with the client’s mission to mitigate environmental challenges; Faulkner Architects brings together a site and home both phenomenologically in the design and technologically through sustainable features and practices. Basalt flooring, white gypsum walls, and Cor-Ten steel panels provide a material counterpoint to the textured wood; the steel skin refreshes every time it rains. Developed in close collaboration with the clients is a series of innovative sustainability features that bring the mechanical and electrical systems to net zero.
Located in Kenwood, United States, Summerhill Residence (2008) by Edmonds + Lee Architects | The Hardt
Located in Kenwood, United States, Summerhill Residence (2008) by Edmonds + Lee Architects. Edmonds + Lee Architects’ Summerhill Residence sits high in the hills of California wine country. Its distinct forms with raised corners mold an outdoor living area and courtyard. The residence consists of three separate structures, the main house, guest house and detached garage. The orientation of these buildings maximizes usable outdoor space and serves to connect natural and man-made elements.
Interior and exterior spaces extend outwardly to the rolling hills of the surrounding landscape. This connection is harbored by the design to both connect and blur the line between interior and exterior. Full walls of glazing and expansive wooden decks reflect a desire to heighten the experience of being in the “country”. The main and guest houses provide an aesthetic juxtaposition while capturing their own views of the California scenery. Mirroring one another, these two structures vary in dimensionality yet feel interconnected. This also works for the detached garage and can be attributed to a mixture of common materials and a formal language that is consistent throughout each entity. These raised corners of the residential cubes add both formal interests and further serve the architects desire to blend interior and exterior spaces.
From the interior, snapshots of the horizon are mixed with the sloping lines on the interior, using natural and man-made geometries to play off of each other. A play between solid and void relating the buildings allows for privacy even within close vicinity. By night, slits of light show from underneath the masses of these structures. Punctured windows peek out from beneath the wooden overhang of the two-story main house. The three structures rise as a geometric counterpart to the surrounding forests. Exterior wooden cladding along with exposed planes of glazing and concrete merge in order to create both distinct and dialectic design.
Venice House (2013) by Sebastian Mariscal Studio, located in Venice, CA. USA | The Hardt
Venice House (2013) by Sebastian Mariscal Studio, located in Venice, CA. USA. The design combines the concepts of “Interior/Exterior Living” that take into account human interaction and space & energy reduction. This is achieved through the integration of strategically placed outdoor rooms that create harmonious transitions from inside to out. Sebastian Mariscal’s “Venice House” project features an interesting concept in the balancing between the interior and exterior of the house; blurring the lines of indoor and outdoor living. Each section has been neatly integrated into the natural landscape, and no form of nature was compromised during the construction as the existing trees in the plot of land remained intact in the design process, furthering the theme of natural integration.
Each room in the house corresponds to the nearby outside space and has been built with natural daylight, shadows, and reflections in mind for unique lighting situations. Additionally, the size of each room and section has been scaled down for intimate usage, such that guests and residents can enjoy a reliable sense of privacy. Rounding out the amazing architectural design is a main living area hidden by a series of sliding doors which fold into a pocket, allowing a natural breeze to flow in the space of the home.
Photos by Yoshi Koitani and Michael Sylvester
Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:
LDF House (2012) by Gaetano Gulino and Albanian Saints located in Italy on a promontory overlooking the Sea of Africa | The Hardt LDF House (2012) by Gaetano Gulino and Albanian Saints located in Italy on a promontory overlooking the Sea of Africa. The house...
Flexible Housing Units by Mario Conte, located in Canobbio, Switzerland | The Hardt Flexible Housing Units by Mario Conte, located in Canobbio, Switzerland. The project is generated by the context so close to the urban area of the city and provides a set of houses...