A circular garden courtyard enclosed by soaring steel-ribbed walls of glass is the dramatic focal point of a Beverly Hills house by modernist Malibu architect Ed Niles. The home was commissioned by Los Angeles developer Raffi Cohen and completed earlier this year.
Set on a promontory with unobstructed views from Mid-City to the Palos Verdes Peninsula, the three-level home is an amalgamation of sharp geometric lines highlighted by a nested pair of rounded glass walls. Tinted a Mediterranean blue, the glass walls are framed with steel beams and rise above the home's upper level. They are set about a dozen feet apart and follow the same wide 360-degree trajectory. The outer glass wall is part of the home's exterior while the inner wall provides views of the courtyard from most of the rooms.
The courtyard itself is divided into a series of wedge-shaped lawns by walkways of polished Portuguese blue marble. Another wedge is a large patio that serves as an outdoor dining area. A single rounded steel beam at the center of the courtyard supports a fan-shaped lattice that gives partial shade. At ground level, southern-facing sections of the glass walls have been left open, allowing the courtyard to flow into the backyard, which features a sail-shaped infinity pool with a spa.
From the front, a broad section of curved glass is visible at the center of the house, recessed in walls of polished aluminum. On one side, the aluminum wall conforms to the curve of the glass. On the other side, the outer glass wall is interrupted by a two-story aluminum square, with only the uppermost section of glass rising above the square and completing the circle. A glass-cubed entry sits atop a marble patio decorated with round metal planters. Other architectural elements include an aluminum cylinder that houses an interior staircase and a huge slab of glass and steel that tilts steeply over the entry.
The space between the two glass walls serves as a hallway on the home's main level. To one side, the hallway winds past a bedroom located in the square part of the structure to a high-ceilinged living room that is a study in triangles. Exposed beams intersect the space at varying heights, some supporting an upstairs hallway that overlooks the room. Wide triangular windows provide courtyard and hillside views. There is also a fireplace with a glass shield and an aluminum frame embedded in one wall.
Directly across the courtyard from the living room are the open dining room, kitchen and den. All have track lighting, polished marble floors and exposed beams. The kitchen features Bulthaup aluminum cabinetry, CeasarStone counters and a long, rectangular eat-in centerpiece. Glass walls to the courtyard slide open along curved tracks to create a seamless indoor-outdoor flow.
An oval-shaped wing contains a guest room downstairs and the master bedroom above. The curved wall of the master bedroom provides expansive views through windows that wrap nearly three-quarters of the way around. The room has recessed lighting, marble floors and a half-moon-shaped walk-in closet. The master bathroom looks over the central courtyard and has a vaulted ceiling and a curving counter with glass vessel sinks. An enclosed bathing area with frosted glass doors in the center of the room has a spa tub on one side and a steam shower on the other. The home's upper level also has four additional bedrooms, three of which overlook the central courtyard.
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