Based in Southern California and a Boldfaced Name Beyond, Mcclean Design Puts Its Luxury Stamp on a Spectacular Trophy Abode in Beverly Hills
Any serious discussion about the talent defining quintessential California living in the current era must include architecture and design firm McClean Design. Headed by architect Paul McClean, the contemporary residential specialist is routinely praised for its open, elaborately glassed luxury spaces, located in exclusive enclaves across the U.S. and abroad, for clients including fashion legend Calvin Klein and power couple Beyonce and Jay-Z.
“We have always been inspired by LA’s amazing history of residential architecture, and we hope the contemporary homes we create reflect that,” says the McClean Design team, whose projects, like this residential opus, demonstrate an interest in modern living and a desire to connect their clients to the beauty of the natural environment.
“California is an incredible incubator of unique and experimental architecture, especially in residential design,” they add. “We continue to experiment with the design of our homes, and we are hoping to find unique ways to capture the views of LA, orient our homes for maximum natural light and useable area of the property, as well as providing privacy from adjacent lots.”
Laurel 1 in Beverly Hills is best understood as a manifestation of this idea. For the 11,225 square-foot residence, McClean Design utilized an L-shape configuration tight to the street to maximize the functional garden space and add drama with a sunken entry courtyard, bringing light to the basement.
The result, which is backdropped by a view of the Los Angeles Basin and Pacific Ocean, makes a proper modern impression. Meticulous white planes highlighted by black metal accents and screens mark the exterior, balanced by a warm interior of rich travertine and walnut woods.
“These materials work together effortlessly and either soak in the natural light or become the canvas for moving shadows throughout the day,” says the team.
The space is exquisite—classy yet low-key, it flows and is content to open itself to every exaggerated glass aperture and spotless, well-ordered environ beyond. It’s all clean lines, smooth surfaces and easy breathing in the classic California mold. At the same time, it’s a McClean Design dwelling and therefore fastidiously fitted, from a serene water feature to a marble-clad bath.
Folding in everything with the kitchen sink, the floor plan flaunts some unforgettable wellness spaces and a showstopping walnut staircase that is glazed to the courtyard and connects all three levels of the home.
The ground level, which hosts the living space and bar, as well as the family room and kitchen—all of which open to the garden and pool—is the most conspicuous expression of Southern California living in its connection to the outdoors, and by proxy, to that warmth, that sun, and that view.
“Connecting homeowners to nature for serenity and healing is a hallmark of McClean’s designs, as well as careful consideration of light,” the team explains.
This project exploits both points and is particularly relentless in blurring the lines between indoors and out. Designed as an outdoor oasis, the landscape is another loud-and-proud nod to LA—a “statement space,” as McClean Design describes the setting, which contains a sunken lounge with a fire feature, spa, and infinity pool.
Sleek as a Hollywood backdrop, with an auteur’s sense of scene and a dazzling view (a vital supporting player in the drama of this house), the space has A-list party written all over it, and could graciously accommodate a crowd, but is, in the every day, a haven.
The home’s private spaces, meanwhile, including a lofty master suite and three additional bedrooms, are housed on the upper level. True to form, each of these spaces is top-notch, with the master suite in possession of a spa-size bath and a gleaming custom wood closet.
A sitting area with a sinuous fireplace makes for a cozy interlude inside the space, which also accesses a private outdoor deck in full thrall to the urban panorama.
The basement is arranged around the artful, beautifully illuminated courtyard space.
“This unique area allows light to penetrate deep into the plan, while creating an attractive outdoor room, two stories in height,” says the team.
With serene notes of nature and water elements, the space has a faintly Japanese feel. It’s a mood.
“Both a water and a planted green wall protect the space from the adjoining properties, while the sculpture in the water basin acts as a focal point for the surrounding living and wellness spaces.”
This is a home that cultivates well-being in unforgettable fashion, from top to bottom, yet even the mostly impartial McClean Design team plays favorites.
“The wellness retreat is a standout,” they say. “Since the client wanted the wellness room adjacent to the gym, we designed the space to serve as a decompression chamber. Calacatta marble and floor-to-ceiling glass were employed to create the wellness sanctuary where the homeowner could reflect and relax before or after a workout.”
Because in a busy city like Los Angeles, home is best as a refuge.
McClean Design | mccleandesign.com
Photos: Mike Kelley