The Smoke-Lyster Residence, by architect J. Herbert Brownell (1974.) A stunning example of Organic Modernism. Brownell's expertise in siting, honesty of materials, and mastery of space is evident. An inspired house as dramatic as it's setting. The nearly 1/4 acre site adjoins Laguna Coast Wilderness Park on two sides, with white water views looking South as far as Dana Point, and panoramic ocean views of San Clemente and Catalina Islands to the west. Designed originally for a mathematics professor relocating his family from Berkeley, the now second owners are lifetime Laguna Beach residents who have taken great pride in restoring and updating the home. Robust and efficient systems complement original details. Pebble seeded concrete floors blur distinction between indoors and out. Imperial plaster and unadorned concrete block form an impressive sculptural fireplace. A Hexagonal plan maximizes space and directs walls of glass towards the extraordinary views. A combination of Redwood, Cedar, and Douglas fir bring warmth and richness to the design. The spacious office/study could be used as a 3rd bedroom. The pool, a later addition, was designed by Brownell's son. Terraced gardens are dotted w/Sandstone boulders excavated on site. At the end of a cul-de-sac in a private & gated community of 32 homes. One of Laguna's most desired locations- serenity and views yet within close proximity to town.
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