The most remarkable features of Laurel Way— a luxurious property designed by Whipple Russell Architects— are the privileged views. Set on a small plateau in the heart of Beverly Hills, California, its surrounding landscapes are spectacular, even the parking area offers a sublime panoramic view of Los Angeles, Catalina and the California coastline.
Its elevated location and artsy moats around the property give it a warm sense of security. At Laurel Way, it is quite clear that terraces and courtyards have been designed, with great care, to create a special relationship with the stunning environment. Huge windows seamlessly integrate the exterior and interior spaces, making nature an integral part of the house. The moats, like water mirrors strategically placed on the outside of the property, reflect the light, and turn Laurel Way into an oasis in the middle of Beverly Hills.
Inside, each space is designed to be a sensory experience, and although all the areas share the feeling of lightness and openness characteristic of the work of Marc Whipple, the architect and main designer, it is also true that they find their own character in the details. The constant juxtaposition of materials and textures is one of the most noticeable features of Laurel Way. It is common to find, in this luxurious home, compositions of wood and glass, natural stone and concrete. Even the fire in the coal stoves located on the outdoor terraces becomes a strategic design element. The same applies to the color exploration: the living room and dining hall are chromatic studies, with a sober palette ranging from chocolate to creamy white and pearl. Some touches of color give character to each room, playing with space and light.
No doubt this architectural work by Whipple Russell Architects pays tribute to the phrase “less is more”, with open spaces decorated with minimalist furnishings perfect for every room. In the common areas, the walls and panels are placed with such delicacy that they seem to float in space. The strategic position of furniture, with pieces by Minotti, Maxalto and B & B Italia, adds the final touch, stressing the importance of open spaces.
The front steps lead to the main floor lobby. To the left, an unexpected glass floor reveals the wine cellar, designed as a decorative piece in its own right. One of the most seductive corners is also located on this level: a large terrace that extends towards an extraordinary infinity pool, which blends with the spectacular skyline.
It is impossible not to admire the wooden steps that, built into the walls without any additional support, seem to float on their way to the upstairs bedrooms. Each room is a sanctuary of comfort and privacy. Next to the master suite, whose glass walls provide warm sunlight during the day, is a superb terrace with a Jacuzzi, and a stove built on top of a large glass table.
The screening room is another strong addition to Laurel Way. It is furnished with the most comfortable leather chairs imaginable. The projection screen is retractable, and, when not in use, it exposes one of the huge windows typical of the distinctive modern architecture of Southern California. The window opens to an exquisite Zen garden.
In keeping with the times, architecture and technology come together in this property. Laurel Way is a smart home. Its automation system includes climate control, architectural landscape lighting, and automatic closing and opening of the blinds. Everything can be controlled with an iPod or iPad from anywhere in the house. Its Schuco windows, made in Germany, work flawlessly, while the kitchen cabinetry is Italian. Laurel Way is a modern architectural gem. “Each room and each space should be like a jewelry case, a sensory experience in itself,” says Whipple, its creator. “Every space is designed to be sober, elegant and spectacular, but above all, always functional. ■