In Orange County, three distinct styles emerged in the past two decades when most of the developments took place: traditional, Mediterranean, and contemporary-modern. These styles complemented the scenic, coastal view Orange County offers. While the open spaces and ceiling-to-floor windows in contemporary designs highlight the sea breeze and sunset views, the traditional and Mediterranean styles offer a unique and warm quality reminiscent of Spanish architecture.
Santa Barbara was modeled after the French and Italian Riviera coastal regions, making it what it is best known as today: The ‘American Riviera.’ Santa Barbara offers a resort-like atmosphere year round with its unrelenting sunshine – prompting a multitude of tourists to flock in, and in some cases, permanently move in. Santa Barbara took inspiration after the Spanish culture, with its many days of festivals and numerous Mediterranean restaurants. Not surprisingly, the architectural inspiration for homes and estates became Spanish as well: the lushness of the landscape and distinct building design.
Arguably the best place in the United States to go when hankering for a Riviera-style holiday, Santa Barbara offers sights, climate, places, and food reminiscent of the Mediterranean. While some go here for vacation, many make it home, including celebrities who own sprawling properties – especially in Montecito. Santa Barbara streets and neighborhoods reflect Spanish culture, making red-tile roofs, stone walls, and colorful, rich landscapes a common sight.
Although most people picture alfresco living when they think of the domestic lives of Angelenos, the most quintessential experiences are often hidden just behind the front door. Due to LA’s thriving collection of world-class interior designers, it is the indoor spaces that have become the palettes of the most creative designers in the business. With the Pacific Design Center and burgeoning La Cienega Design Quarter within blocks of one another – and playing host to a full stack of LA-based interior masterminds – the interior design scene in Los Angeles stands out as one of the best in the world.
Especially as projects and budgets grow, managing relationships with an architect and contractor can become more and more difficult. If all parties aren’t in sync, the quality and accuracy of design execution may be at stake. Design-build firms consolidate planning and construction responsibilities into one hub. In Los Angeles, these top 10 design-build firms are behind the scenes of many successful commercial and residential projects.
Los Angeles has a history of giving rise to fast food chains like In-N-Out, California Pizza Kitchen, and Orange Julius, which hasn’t gotten in the way of its reputation for upscale dining at spots like Spago and The Palm. In the city’s culinary scene, celebrity chefs present themselves through their unique restaurants the way big screen stars reach audiences in their films. The two industries often collide, with many Los Angeles spots gaining popularity by making regulars out of A-Listers. Our top 10 L.A. restaurant architects thrive on the pressure to create a distinctive dining experience in a competitive market.
The first high-rise in Los Angeles was the Braly building. At just 13 stories and 151 feet, it kicked off Southern California’s race to the sky. New towers are grazing downtown L.A.’s skyline at 1,000 feet. Not all of the city’s big builds are going vertical. Multi-billion dollar stadiums and entertainment districts are currently underway. The reputable architects behind the biggest and most expensive of those projects are ranked below.
Brand identity is no longer just conveyed through a company’s output. Experiential workspaces that project a company lifestyle are now in vogue, and just as likely to draw press coverage as a hot new product. The burgeoning tech scene in Downtown L.A. is just one of the area locales buying into the trend. From Culver City to Venice, young corporations and established firms are putting down colorful roots. These are the top 10 architects translating workplace ethos into progressive designs.
Los Angeles is a time capsule of architectural styles—home to Victorian bungalows and Avant Garde villas alike, and new custom homes that reflect the diverse stylings of Los Angeles real estate. Hollywood and the explosion of Southern California technology companies bring big budget builders to the beach and the hills. Bel Air boasts the most expensive house ever listed in the U.S.—a $250M mega-mansion. Here are the architects designing audacious and innovative homes for their clients.