Your average architecture enthusiast may think it’s obvious that architects often draw inspiration from the natural landscapes around them. For these two homes built by famous architects, however, inspiration might be an understatement.
From the warmth of southern California to the colors and features of the mountains of Colorado, these two homes blend into their surroundings yet still manage to distinguish themselves with elegance and splendor. The results include sweeping views and living spaces that refuse to let residents ignore the surrounding beauty.
360 S Starwood Drive
The first featured masterpiece, designed by Robert A.M. Stern, resides just outside of Aspen and does more than settle into its Red Mountain surroundings. Whether swimming in the indoor pool or reviewing one’s wardrobe in the master closet, residents are able to interact with nature-inspired elements on a daily basis. The pool room’s ceiling features twinkling lights that mimic the stars during Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. The master closet even has a mirror that electronically retracts to reveal a window behind it, giving access to natural lighting to help with wardrobe decisions.
An outdoor living room allows for relaxation while breathing in the mountain air. Deliberate south-western orientation of the house’s living spaces, along with Stern’s signature oval style windows, take advantage of the natural light, while service areas are purposefully tucked away into the hill. Purple and green hues pair with natural wood trim help the home blend into the landscape. With its three floors and two balconies protruding from the master gallery that look down to the entry foyer, this home stands as a commitment to acknowledging the great outdoors while delivering comfort through each thought-out architectural decision.
1160 San Ysidro Drive
Situated in Beverly Hills, and built of glass, teak, and redwood, stands a newly constructed home designed by one of California’s greatest architects, Ray Kappe. In addition to the main house, this residence includes a detached, one-bedroom guest house and pool house. The use of redwood speaks to the California Redwood Parks, while glass walls allow the lush outdoor scenery to be viewed from the inside. One cannot move throughout the home without an opportunity to view another breathtaking view at every corner. The viewing deck includes views to the ocean, and the three-story, glass-enclosed elevator provides both residents and guests the chance to keep nature in sight even while traveling through different floors.
The selection of materials continues the nature-inspired theme; wood and glass work together to echo the simple and organic surroundings, while interior spaces feature natural wooden floors and ceilings. Kappe did not leave the views to be the only conversation starter—an outdoor patio and swimmer’s pool that wraps around the kitchen serve as great entertainment areas, and a sunken living room allows for a designated gathering space. And for a place to prepare drink and food for guests, the main house features a modern and minimalistic Bulthaup kitchen that continues Kappe’s vision for streamlined luxury.