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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wanna come down and see the outside?
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.
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.