A luxury fortress high above the Sunset Strip

A luxurious fortress of concrete, glass and steel presents an imposing profile near the end of a winding drive high above the Sunset Strip.

Designed by Santa Monica architect David Lawrence Gray and completed in 1996, the three-level contemporary home sits along the spine of narrow promontory with unobstructed views that stretch from the San Gabriel Mountains to the Getty Center.

Dramatic flourishes abound — nowhere more so than in a jutting backyard that feels as though it is suspended above the city. A rectangular lawn contains a lap pool extending from the base of a raised patio at the rear of the house to an elevated blue-tiled spa with room for a dozen soakers.

In front, a concrete portico supported by circular steel beams and topped by rows of angled skylights leads to a pair of tall glass doors. A long entry hall that doubles as an art gallery extends almost the entire length of the structure. It has tiled slate floors, poured concrete walls, glass bricks and a frosted glass atrium ceiling some 30 feet high, well above the home’s upper level.


Owner Val Kolton, a disc jockey and music producer who co-founded the headphone and design company V-Moda, has made this space the home’s social hub, installing a state-of-the-art DJ station and a generous assortment of remote-controlled professional speakers and lights that are attached to the exposed steel beams. A powder room has twinkling LED lights embedded in the ceiling, creating a multicolored display that reflects off a gleaming black granite floor.

A double-sided concrete and glass fireplace has a pair of circular metal flues that rise to the ceiling. The fireplace structure separates the hall from the high-ceilinged living room, which features city and canyon views through windows that reach two stories. Flanking the living room are a music room and a den, both framed by structural concrete beams and featuring built-in maple cabinets that reach from floor to ceiling.

A platform of circular glass steps leads from the central hall to the kitchen and dining room, where dark walnut floors and lower ceilings provide intimacy. A curved walnut booth stained pomegranate red divides the space, functioning as a serving counter in the dining room and sheltering a bench and breakfast table on the kitchen side. The kitchen has stainless-steel Gaggenau appliances, cabinets that reach from floor to ceiling on three sides, a large granite-covered stainless-steel island, and speckled granite counters and backsplash.

A glass-and-steel staircase leads from the central hall to the master suite, which occupies the entire upper level. Designed to resemble a yacht, the bedroom and bath are outfitted with burled walnut and black granite floors. The bedroom has a wood-burning fireplace and a wall of glass looking out to downtown Los Angeles. The bathroom features two showers along with a pair of irregularly shaped granite tubs. Outside the bedroom, a glass bridge passes over the den below to a small corner office with a built-in glass desk.

A larger office is located off a wide landing on a carpeted stairway that leads to the home’s lower level, which contains a pair of bedrooms with maple built-ins and glass walls. The lower level also has a fully equipped gym and a soundproof home theater with a green marble bar and sunken seating area.

To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, send high-resolution, un-retouched color photos on a CD, written permission from the photographer to publish the images and a description of the house to Lauren Beale, Business, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. Send questions to