Laurel II House / McClean Design
Text description provided by the architects. On a complex multilevel lot overlooking the city of Beverly Hills, this project was designed to take advantage of the beautiful views of the city below, as well as the entire Los Angeles basin. The house is inspired by the rich history of modernism in California, in both its plan and material choices.
Open in concept and focused around the pool and garden area, the upper level blends seamlessly with its surroundings. Programmatic requirements for additional space and the city’s restrictions on grading led to a design that wrapped the lower level around a basement courtyard, to draw as much light as possible deep into the floor plan.
The approach from the street up a steep driveway leads to a generous drive court where a relaxed limestone stair continues the climb to the entry of the home. Upon arrival at the glass entry foyer, the view opens up across a skylit stairwell. The main living and dining space opens completely on both sides, allowing for cross ventilation, and the sense of being outdoors, while still being sheltered from the elements.
The nearby kitchen and family room are more intimate in feel and seamlessly connect to a poolside outdoor covered patio and kitchen area. The main bedroom reaches across the stairwell is elevated to add a sense of privacy, while still connecting to the garden by way of a terrace and outdoor fire pit area. With glass walls retracting on two sides and a terrific view toward downtown LA, the bedroom and adjacent bathroom appear to float above the city below. Generous his and her closets complete the bedroom suite.
A home office next to the kitchen area enjoys a unique perspective, borrowing views across the living room and the courtyard, as well as opening a small, landscaped patio. The remainder of the program for the upper level consists of two additional bedrooms, as well as support spaces.
The sinuous walnut and limestone-clad staircase creates an interesting focal point while revealing views of the backlit wine cellar on the descent to the lower level. The feeling below provides a significant contrast to the main floor, with a series of bedrooms and entertainment spaces, wrapping around the landscaped courtyard.
The primary space is a large room with a warm bar area, seating around the fireplace, and a pool table, with direct access to the courtyard and views to the west through the adjacent library space. The richly finished media room opens directly to the center of the entertainment area. The remaining spaces consist of three additional bedrooms, a gym area, a service kitchen, and staff rooms.
The primary tones of the house are composed of travertine, limestone and oak. Metal trim, natural stones, and dark woods accent this warm palette. The landscape is fully integrated into the project with specimen trees and bushes connecting various outdoor spaces.