Inside a Legendary $16,000,000 Canyonside Mansion

Today Architectural Digest takes you up into the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles to visit Garcia House on Mulholland Drive, a legendary mansion designed by architect John Lautner that was recently on the market for $16 million.


I'd like to welcome you

to the world famous Garcia House

built by the architect John Lautner.

It's located at 7436 Mulholland Drive in sunny Los Angeles.

Look at that house.

It speaks for itself.

The shape, the style, the uniqueness,

the way it was built, the fact that it has the best views.

It's not just a house.

We believe it's a work of art,

and it's all on the market for $16 million.

It was meticulously restored by John.

I'm John McIlwee and I'm the owner of the Garcia House.

John Lautner was a master

and the things that he did with his property,

on the site really made it so incredibly special.

Love to show you guys around.

[gentle music]

It actually took us about four years to build this pool.

Two years to get the permits and two years to build it.

What was kind of phenomenal about this

is we had the original designs for the pool

that John Lautner had come up with in 1960.

The original loaners couldn't build it

because the house was so far out

that no bank would give them a loan.

So we inherited the plans,

and as you can see, decided to build them.

It's one of my favorite places in the entire house

because you get to see the entire green of the canyon

and in the hills, especially in LA,

it is sunny from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

which is completely unique

and totally valued for having a pool.

What I also love about this pool

and this was my decision, was it's salt water.

[gentle music]

So the staircase is actually kind of the heart of the house.

It's this spiral staircase that comes down

from the entrance, spills you right into the deck,

and we've created this custom sitting area

from an artisan in Silver Lake.

One of the amazing things about this deck is

it's hand poured terrazzo built in 1960.

You can imagine, and knock on wood there's not one crack

in the entire thing.

[gentle music]

So this is the living room,

and John Lautner was kind of famous for creating

and introducing one spectacular living space

in each of his houses.

It's got 30 foot high windows, which you know,

in Los Angeles everybody wants a view.

So we're in the Hollywood Hills,

you can see the ocean and Catalina

and so everybody kind of comes over and goes crazy.

We wanted this actually feel like it was a tree house

suspended in the air.

The house is built on V-shaped struts.

It's the same engineering as suspension bridges.

There's some stained glass windows in here.

There's a red one, a purple one, and a green one.

The hardware and the hardscape is original.

Unfortunately, people had painted over the original wood.

They had taken and cut out part of the promontory there,

the extension of the dining room space.

We had to replace and rebuild a lot of the things

and base it off the original designs that he had.

One of my favorite features in this entire place

is this lava rock.

It's here in the fireplace.

It's over in the kitchen on kind of linear walls.

It was imported from Hawaii.

One of the things that was interesting

and we had the good luck to be able to actually meet

the original owners.

Russ Garcia was a composer.

He needed to be able to work and compose his music

and Gina, his wife, was a big entertainer,

so she needed to be able to have a place

where she could have hundred people parties

and it would not affect his work.

So literally that was the directive they gave John Lautner.

It's actually two equidistance spaces under an arched roof.

The house does not meet in the middle.

It's completely open to the outside.

So you can see we have this massive living room

that you can hold a hundred people in here easily.

If you look over here, this is the metal frame of the house.

John Lautner was a master of engineering.

He died glass straight through the wood,

and so basically all of this glass detail, it's seamless.

So the whole thing is on this crazy steel beam

that runs through the entire length of the house.

[gentle music]

So if you can tell this is my baby.

It's a fiddly fig that actually has gone crazy here.

One of the reasons is it thinks it's outside.

It's actually inside.

So it's grown like exponentially,

but it's completely protected as you can see.

So there's this amazing relationship

between the indoor and outdoor,

and as you can tell it's completely covered by this roof.

So you actually feel like you're outside when you're inside

during the day.

[gentle music]

This is the kitchen.

It's kind of become the heart of the house.

I think with so many properties

people tend to congregate in the kitchen,

and it's one of the things that we just believe strongly

in this house is I want people to come over.

I want. [phone ringing]


Actually, it's a wrong number.

That's a wrong number.

Original birch cabinets were painted over

with this weird gun metal gray.

People want to have, when you do a renovation

they want to have usable kitchens, usable bathrooms.

So basically the architects that we use, Marmol Radziner,

we worked with them to kind of like have their input

and their advice about how to bring this into the modern day

but also make it seem original.

There's honed granite countertops.

The original countertops were black formica.

So we basically were able to use something that looked

like black formica, was new,

because we had to replace it anyway,

and then basically gave us something that was contemporary

yet seemed like it was original.

The entire kitchen we did a project

with the appliance company decor.

And the appliances, it was this black graphite line

that they had that completely worked with the style

and the design of the house.

It looks like it could be original

but it's also new technology,

and that was one of the things John Lautner

was so adamant about.

There's better technology, there's better resources,

if there's better materials or systems,

a hundred percent he wanted people to use it.

So what's interesting about this space is

when I say this was a broom closet,

it was actually a broom closet.

We were able to reconfigure the systems

'cause it was a water heater

and air conditioner and drop them under the house.

We had to source and find this lava rock from Hawaii

and we added it on this plane,

and if you can see, the window dies into the wall

which was one of the things John Lautner was so famous for.

We had to rebuild the deck out front.

So we actually were able to find a terrazzo maker

that had to reconfigure and find from scratch

the composition for the original terrazzo

because we had to re-pour it out there.

When we built this space we decided to add this here

and we were very very diligent

with making sure that anything that was here that we put in

looked like it could have been here.

[gentle music]

So this is the primary bedroom.

Originally, Russ Garcia's piano was over here

where he would compose his music.

Lucite bed was made by Charles Hollis Jones.

One of the favorite things I have about this room

is we put in this wall to wall custom carpet

by a company called Ed Fields.

[gentle music]

So this is the bathroom

and obviously this is my favorite place to take a bath.

The faucets were made by a company named

Paul and Associates, originally designed in the eighties.

The stone in this room is called honey onyx

and we decided to use this throughout the lower level

in this living space because we love it

and at night it actually resonates and it glows.

[gentle music]

So this is what we decided to make our TV room.

It's comprised of two original small bedrooms

with a shared bathroom.

So there was this kind of philosophy

which was if something had been ripped out or ruined,

you could take liberties to put something back

that made more sense.

We put the wall on the mullion.

So you can see here, they're equidistant things.

The original wall was where this piece was right here.

It kind of didn't make any sense.

So basically the guy, even though he kind of ruined it

did us a favor because it allowed us to move a wall

and make this really beautiful, very cozy TV room.

Once again ,our friend Charles Hollis Jones, more Lucite.

He made these incredible end tables.

You know, one of the cool things about this room

is that we needed to figure out some way

to spatially make it feel bigger.

So what we did is we added this mirror here

and it I don't know if you can see it,

but it's actually peach veneer.

[gentle music]

Wanna come down and see the outside?

Follow me.

[gentle music]

So basically you come down from the living room

and we created this walkway that goes all the way

over to the pool.

There's about 200 different species of plants.

A majority of them are agave, aloe, and succulents.

This is actually kind of a really rare species of cactus.

It is a verde cactus.

On one side, it's green, on the other side it's white.

So basically, I don't know where you found this thing

but it's this crazy monster that again

is as happy as can be living at the Garcia House.

[gentle music]

Well, that's it.

I hope you guys enjoyed the time

and I hope I was able to give you guys some insight

to our 21 year project.

This is one of the most unique properties in the world.

There's only three of them in the considered space age era.

The two other houses are Hemisphere and Silver Top.

This is the architectural triumph.

There's nothing like this in the world.

This is really a piece of art

and they really brought back the house

to its world class grandeur that it deserves,

and it could never be built again.

And it's all on the market for $16 million.


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