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bel air, california

The challenges presented to us at the outset of this project were especially significant:  Take a large-but-not-ostentatious 1920's Mediterranean Revival hillside mansion that had suffered unsympathetic renovations in the 1980's, and almost triple its enclosed square footage.  Give it the drama that is now expected in this tony part of town, but with personality and at least a little restraint.  There was a constricted hillside site to contend with, dropping more than 40 feet in elevation where the house footprint would be.  We proposed stripping the house to its bones, and then re-imagining its original stylistic narrative.  The old original house would sit on a new stone plinth that had large indoor and outdoor living spaces one floor down, with a pared down architectural vocabulary.