Looking Back: Our Three Favorite Properties of 2023Author:Philip Ferrato
Over the course of a year, we look at dozens of properties on the market. All have unique architectural and design pedigrees, some are newly built, some renovated and others have been rescued from neglect and the effects of time, but their creators all have one thing in common—a passion for California’s architectural heritage and the art of living well. And while we tend to focus here on the designers and realtors involved, it’s vital to remember that the projects don’t occur in a vacuum, and so kudos to the people who love these properties enough to buy them and live in them.
First up (at top and below) a house fresh to the market, and one we looked at only last week—the 1965 residence Rex Lotery designed for developer Paul Trousdale on Carla Ridge Road in his eponymous Trousdale Estates, at the time a new luxury subdivision in Beverly Hills. Over the past two years Alexi Rennalls and Sam Gnatovich, of the renowned LA design firm SIMO Design, undertook a complete overhaul of the property, respectfully retaining Lotery’s sweeping, signature design elements while creating one of the loveliest Modernist revivals we’ve seen in a long time.
Since opening her firm in the mid 1990s, Barbara Bestor of Bestor Architecture has created a unique body of work encompassing residential, civic and commercial projects, all with a DNA deeply embedded in the California vernacular—what some might call Post-Post-Modern. We had a look at her Sunswept project in Studio City, where she opened up a classic board and batten “ranchburger” on a stunning site whose original mature landscaping was remade by Judy Kameon of Elysian Landscapes. Represented by Tori Horowitz at Compass, the property sold quickly for $100K over the asking price of $5.8M.
The Tree House
And last (but not least) and further south in La Jolla, is the extraordinary dwelling dubbed The Tree House, currently the most expensive listing (and still on the market) in the San Diego area. The work of KAA Design Group, led by its founder and design principal Grant C. Kirkpatrick, FAIA, and partner Duan H.M. Tran, AIA—a firm best known for luxurious and exquisitely crafted dwellings set in exceptional landscapes—it’s the epitome of “quiet luxury”.