Breeze Blocks Beverly Hills

Perched near the top of Trousdale Estates, this home was designed for an East Coast-based couple who enjoys entertaining when in town. Their desire to take maximum advantage of the jetliner views and Mediterranean climate, as well as reference the Mad Men-era feel of the neighborhood’s low-slung modern homes, became the driving factors and aesthetic touchstone for the project.

Upon arrival, one encounters the project’s eponymous breeze blocks, arranged in rotated columns that form a privacy screen for those within while allowing unimpeded views of the walkway approach and verdant landscaping. Each block, made of white cement, features a golden colored opening through which cooling breezes pass and LEDs are concealed, infusing the wall with striking warmth that at night further grows into a magnificent source of golden light.

Passing through the wall, one comes to a tranquil lily pond behind which a Burle-Marx inspired mosaic wall panel slips from outside to inside, enlivening the foyer and further blurring the boundary between house and garden.

Once inside, natural materials including terrazzo floors, bleached oak wood panels, and textured limestone walls glow in the California sunshine and lend a sense of effortless elegance. The owners’ curated selection of modern art punctuates every turn, oscillating from colorful and strong to calm and introspective.

“Our home has a modern aesthetic and is a terrific place for us to entertain and share time with family."

William Lauder, Client, Galerie

Breeze Block Wall

The project's eponymous blocks, fabricated by Gore Design Co., are arranged in rotated columns so as to form a privacy screen for those within while allowing unimpeded views of the walkway approach from inside. Each block, made of white cement, features a golden colored opening through which cooling breezes pass and LEDs are concealed, infusing the wall with striking warmth that at night further grows into a magnificent source of golden light. ⁠

“We developed a design where small, vertical LEDs could be concealed inside each block so that they appear to glow from within,” Michael explains to Est Living. “We sourced a gold paint for the interior cavity of each block to emulate the soft effect of fire or candlelight,” he adds, revealing the final design is “equally practical and magnificent”.

Natural Materiality

The owner’s impressive collection of modern art informed the material palette; natural yet luxurious, providing a neutral yet still interesting and tactile background. A refined selection of limestone, leather and cashmere walls, terrazzo, and bleached oak panels "provides a tasteful backdrop for the vibrant hues of Gene Davis’ and Andy Warhol’s artwork," as described by Lidia Boniwell for Est Living.

Pool as Object

The living and dining space look out over the pool and spa, reconceived as a singular object in their own right just steps away from the sheltered terrace. By raising the perimeter of the pool and spa, they transform into a still water element that doubly functions as a mirror for the twinkling night sky. When the sun rises, swimmers dive, and visitors walk across its bisecting bridge, the activates to transform back into a useful extension of the home.

"When panoramic views beckon, motorized, nearly frameless sliding glass doors pocket out of sight, dissolving the line between inside and out."

Michael Kovac, Founder and Design Partner

A dark water element that reflects the surrounding landscape seems to rise from the terrace, water shimmering down its sides, revealed as a swimming pool and spa bisected by a glass bridge that leads to a more intimate view terrace.

The sun sinks into the Pacific as the twinkling carpet of city lights unfolds. There is no better place to take this in – an oasis in the sky.

  • Landscape Architect

    Stephen Billings Landscape Architecture

  • Photography

    Roger Davies and Jeremy Bittermann

  • Styling

    Anita Sarsidi

Awards

  • 2021 SCDF | Single Family Residential (Winner)

  • 2021 AIA LA | Single-Family Residential - Large >5,000 sq ft (Citation Award)