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Real Estate & Architecture in Los Angeles

Frank Gehry’s Schnabel House In Brentwood

526 North Carmelina Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90049

4 BR, 5 BA

In 2006, Jon Platt, Tony Award-winning producer of “Angels in America” and “The Book of Mormon” purchased Frank Gehry’s Schnabel House in Brentwood. Platt spent four years remodeling the home, which was originally built in 1989 on a commission from Rockwell Schnabel, former ambassador to Finland and the European Union, and his wife Marna Schnabel, who briefly worked as an architect under Gehry. The Schnabel House is one of Gehry’s last single family residences.

Platt told the Los Angeles Times that his mission was to “take this gorgeous piece of art that happens to be a home” and update it with the modern features expected of a residence today–and do it all in a way that pleased Gehry. Platt added at that point he wasn’t ready to sell but, “Never say never.” Five months later the stunning home is on the market.

Much more on Frank Gehry’s Schnabel House after the break.

The 5,700 square foot residence is actually composed of four stand-alone buildings: the main house, office, guesthouse, the garage/gym. Each unit is composed of stucco, wood, glass, lead, and copper. The garage/gym is connected to the main house through a breezeway “to get around code limitations on the number of buildings allowed on one property,” according to the LATs.

As a child, the original owner Marna Schnabel fantasized about living in the Griffith Park Observatory, so the copper dome atop the office was to remind her of one of her favorite buildings in LA.

The main structure includes a living room, library, family room, kitchen, dining room, media room, study, sauna, plant room, master bedroom, and two additional bedrooms. (In this picture: Jon Platt, left, sits with architect Frank Gehry during a party at Schnabel House last year.)

The diamond shaped bedroom was flooded with daylight earning it the nickname “the aquarium” by the Schnabels and sending Platt to look for a window-covering solution. Gehry suggested installing electric shades to deal with the issue, but Platt disagreed “That’s great at night, Frank,” Platt recalled saying to the LATs . “But looking at those wires during the day–it’ll just scream at you.” Gehry replied: “Oh, Jon, you’re such a purist.” Eventually Platt found a company in Taiwan that makes a thin film that can make windows less transparent on demand. The high-tech blinds block glare without disrupting aesthetics–all with the swipe of an iPad. Additional updates include climate controls, TVs, lighting and security cameras–all controlled via an iPad-managed system.

The residence also features an olive orchard, reflecting pond, lap pool, and spectacular views of the Getty. If you’d like to see this incredible home in person, email me or call me at 323-775-6305!

More info and photos of 526 North Carmelina Ave.

Listing courtesy of Aaron Kirman and Jeffrey Hyland, Hilton & Hyland.

(Photos by Nick Springett and Lawrence K. Ho, Los Angeles Times)

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