Adam Levine’s Hollywood Hills Home

Adam Levine seems to have it all-  Talent, good looks, and what? A strong design sensibility. One might guess I suppose from his understated public persona, but as stated in a recent article in Architectural Digest, this “Maroon 5 front man’s California pad combines midcentury sophistication with a shot of bachelor attitude” I have to agree. ”His immaculately refurbished 1940s ranch-style dwelling, suspended high above the city, in the Hollywood Hills, and outfitted with classics by Jean Prouvé, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Arne Jacobsen, and other 20th-century-design icons, has a quiet, meticulous air.” Mr. Levine worked with designer  Mark Haddawy, a midcentury collector. From the looks of it, they created a home for entertaining, as well as an environment offering a bit of respite from the limelight. The depth of color of deep purple and burgundy is moody, and plays against the monochromatic background of the interior, whether crisp and white in the public spaces, or dark and reclusive in the private realm of the house. The bathroom is elegant yet simple, a relaxing surround on all surfaces, bathing the space a warm white marble. Quite lovely indeed.

Images and excerpt sourced at Architectural Digest.

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Sky Condos

I don’t often post conceptual work, but I find this design so intriguing and thoughtful, challenging the expected. Planned for a site in Lima, Peru, each apartment in the 20 floor structure boasts an outdoor terrace and  incredible cantilevered swimming pool. Yes, you read that right. Twenty stories up in the clouds imagine yourself swimming, hanging over the city below. The design offers not only these unique amenities and quality of life features, but also creates a sculptural and dynamic visual icon in the skyline. I vote for breaking ground.

“We believe that an apartment shouldn’t lack exterior spaces; this is why our main space in each apartment is the exterior public area which contains the pool and a series of terraces that bring dynamism to the whole tower. These terraces fill the apartment with natural light and create a game of lights and shadows. The facade is mainly transparent allowing the integration of the building to the exterior; generating crossed ventilation and natural lighting in all the spaces without sacrificing the privacy inside the apartments. The floor plan is open looking for a transparency…and generating the sensation that the apartments are suspended.”

Images and excerpts sourced at the architects website:  DCPParquitectos

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Craft Based Building Methods

It seems in many parts of the world the rich history of regional building method is becoming something of a lost art. These construction practices often focus on use of indigenous materials, and are passed down from generation to generation through the shared process of hand craft. Because they are focused on local material and local skilled labor, the results are sensitive to both culture and environment. The connection provided in the creation the built work also supports building of another kind; the building blocks inherent in a strong sense of community.
Dutch architect Arjen Reas has married beautifully the art of traditional building method and rural architectural form, with modern design clarity. This home is located at the point of transition between urban and rural environments, which is reflected in the choices of material, form and finish. A wonderful expression, and addition to the landscape.

Images and excerpts sourced at dailytonic.

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Coast Modern Film

Modern residential architecture on the West Coast is often a representation of the lifestyle, climate and environment unique to the region. I grew up in Portland Oregon, and some of the most beautiful modern homes, perched up on the hills overlooking the city, maintain a relaxed live-ability. Sometimes, it is due to the choice of materials for the project, other times the orientation and connection to the incredible landscape. No matter the expression, West Coast Modernism maintains its own distinct identity.

A new film titled Coast Modern explores Modernism of the region. The film  ”is an independent documentary by directors Mike Bernard and Gavin Froome. Travelling along the Pacific North West coastline from LA to Vancouver, the film showcases the pioneers of West Coast Modernist Architecture, and the homes that have become their legacies. Stepping inside the most inspired dwellings on the west coast, we feel how the light and space of a classic Modernist home can work in collaboration with the natural environment. Dion Neutra tells us that the way to live is to have ‘the comfort of being inside, yet you have the feeling of being outside’, and it is this established principle that contemporary Modernist architects are emulating and evolving.”

“This relaxed journey takes us across three generations of Modernist architecture, all finding beauty in their own times, and all taking us back to the basics of true living – a sense of place, light, and a deep connection to the earth. Interviewed in Coast Modern are some of the most respected names in architecture, including James Steele, Barbara Lamprecht, Ray Kappe, Hernik Bull, Pierluigi Serraino, Michael Folonis, Dion Neutra, Douglas Coupland, John Cava, Barbara Bestor and legendary photographer Julius Shulman.”

For more information about screenings visit Film trailer and excerpts sourced at


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Auberty Ranch

Auberty Ranch is a Rural Studio and Residence in Glencoe, Texas designed by NIMMO, American Studio For Progressive Architecture. I was immediately drawn to these images. A simple structure, while meticulously organized into clearly defined functions, also offers the homeowner great flexibility for defining the use of space. Full height windows fill each room with a wide open view of the gorgeous landscape and an abundance of  light. I love the connection to the outdoors, and the flow of the floor plan moving along the spine of this long narrow compound.

Three independent ‘buildings’, connected by either roof or decking, create ‘outdoor rooms’ and tremendous opportunity for entertaining and gathering together under the starry Texas sky. The smallest building (on the far left of the images above) houses a kitchenette, Bathroom, Library and Bedroom, the primary dwelling space if you will, for the homeowner. Just outside the door, a cozy outdoor fireplace under the breezeway provides a covered entry to the artists studio space.  The studio is a large open volume, which I can imagine would be the perfect space for entertaining, as well as for the artists work.

Between the studio space and the guest house, is a a dramatic fire pit, perfectly placed to both engage the homeowner and guest as well as create separation between them.

I absolutely love the clarity both organizationally as well as aesthetically. A modern, rural home and studio. What a perfect retreat.

Images sourced at


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