Point of View: A Pacific Palisades House Connects With Its Site

Point of View: A Pacific Palisades House Connects With Its Site


Real luxury is restraint,” says architect Russell Shubin of his approach to redesigning the Pacific Palisades residence of Karina and Blake Mirkin and their two young children. “It’s qualitative. It’s not about more is better.” What the Mirkin’s existing house—a 1960s structure that had been remodeled in the 1980s—lacked with its relatively small footprint, it made up for with its unique siting. “The house is on a promontory,” Shubin says. “So every place on the site has a completely different view. We let the forms of the house fall out of framing those particular vistas and experiences.”

Shubin took the structure down to its studs and then reshaped the exterior with flat roofs and clean modernist lines. As the house is built into the hillside, he placed the public areas on the top floor, the master bedroom and two children’s rooms one level down, and an office below that. To capture the expansive views, Shubin held back from the expected walls of floor-to-ceiling glass in favor of carefully crafted vistas for impact. “There’s more drama in strategically placed openings and views,” explains the architect. “It’s the juxtaposition of solid and void.”

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