Cover (Photography: Manolo Langis)

The home of architect Richard Landry, this chic abode in Los Angeles is a happy hybrid of modern and traditional architecture

As it comes into view, this house on Moreno Avenue in the Westside region of Los Angeles makes a dramatic first impression with its facade, which features a stainless-steel cube seemingly embedded in a traditional brick frontage. This fusion of the old and the new, of apparently disparate elements, is effective in its brave, almost sculptural execution; it is a harmonious hybrid that works.  
 
It would come as no surprise to learn that the mastermind behind this impressive creation, and the home’s owner, is celebrated architect Richard Landry, who has made a name for himself with modern residential masterpieces that span various design styles. Having created beautiful abodes for many happy homeowners over the years, including celebrity clients such as Mark Wahlberg and Eddie Murphy, it was perhaps apt that Landry crafted one of the best and most eclectic for himself.

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“I like the fact that the style of the home is not easily defined,” declares Landry. “The integration of these two [traditional and contemporary] styles creates a uniquely cohesive design, inside and out.”

His eponymous firm, Landry Design Group, worked on giving the architecture and interiors of the 9,546 sq ft property a bold blend of the conventional and the current; Landry also collaborated with interior designer Laurie Haefele of Haefele Design on certain parts of the home, including the kitchen and custom closets. 
 
The residence’s steel and brick exterior, which was primarily inspired by old English homes, as well as other traditional interior features such as wood-panelled walls and antique furnishings are complemented by modern touches such as light coves and the generous application of glass. Incidentally, the statement-making steel cube is the entrance to the garage; it is topped by a band of Italian Marmorino plaster clad in metallic paint and overspilling with verdant bougainvillea.

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Enveloped by lush landscaping, which includes Ficus hedges and white shrub roses at ground level and boxwood hedges and mandarin orange trees on the upper terrace, the two-level structure houses six bedrooms and eight bathrooms, along with a gym, a formal dining room, a games room and a bar. Balmy evenings are spent in the backyard and its breezy loggia; this zone was built for relaxation and also features an outdoor dining area, built-in barbecue pit, and a custom pool and spa, trimmed in large blocks of Bateig Blue limestone. 
 
Stepping into the home through its custom steel door with brass inlay and bespoke brass pulls, one is struck by the spectacular light-filled, two-storey central atrium, which is capped by a vaulted SageGlass skylight and crossed by black steel beams.

“The atrium is the heart of the home, acting as the central means of circulation and eliminating the need for hallways,” says Landry. While the atrium sports a contemporary feel, extending the skylight windows across the length of the foyer affords the look of a classic courtyard home, with the main spaces surrounding and open to it. 

This juxtaposition of elements also permeates many of the home’s other spaces. White-washed brick walls are punctuated by the liberal use of glass, such as the span of panes between the great room and the backyard. In the library, cove lighting and backlit shelves co-exist with antique tin ceiling tiles, while off the primary bathroom is a manicured English garden with a stainless-steel sculpture by Éric Racine in its midst.

No expense was spared for entertaining. Besides plenty of room for hosting guests in the expansive backyard, the home also features a spacious, dual-island kitchen. The middle island features a large Wolf range and makes cleaning and prep work a breeze, while the second island, which faces the loggia, functions as a breakfast bar and buffet space. The built-in Sub-Zero refrigerator drawers and ice in this island also let it double as a drinks bar. 

One of the home’s main highlights is the stunning recreation room, which features a bar and game tables, murals and a coved ceiling, and looks remarkably like a 20th-century subway station.

“It was designed to be a fantasy space that is not only used for entertaining, but also as a break from daily life,” says Landry with pride. “The design resembles a subway scene; and the use of raw finishes, mixed with modern detailing, gives the space a unique character.” 

The three-year project was completed in 2019, and its winning blend of styles drew many admiring glances; Landry eventually sold the home in June 2022 for US$19.5 million (about SG$27 million) in an off-market deal. In retrospect, the architect states that he was “very pleased” with how the home turned out. “While embracing the charm of English homes, we paired warm, traditional elements with bright, contemporary spaces, resulting in an open, light-filled and peaceful sanctuary,” he smiles. 

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