LA Times Features La Jolla's Newly Constructed 'Home of the Future'

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A Recent Feature Article in the LA Times Explores Next-Generation Contemporary Architecture- Showcasing A Newly Constructed Oceanfront Masterpiece Located in La Jolla, California.

A glass and concrete towered home ( featured in a two-page article published by the LA Times was the vision of La Jolla resident Dr. Stefan Lemperle.

In 2002, San Diego-based architect Jonathan Segal FAIA, who is heavily inspired by his peers Richard Neutra, John Lautner and Tadao Ando, was hired to design the 4,800 sq. ft., 62 ft. wide oceanfront masterpiece, which now stands on an oceanfront bluff top in La Jolla.

The four-level glass tower home was built 13 feet deep into the ground, providing 2,000 sq. ft. of subterranean living to maximize precious living space on the lot. In beach cities, building down is the best way to get the most out of limited lots without violating any strict restrictions on the height and footprint of the home, and also draw less attention from the street giving the homeowner more privacy.

"Dr. Lemperle always wanted an ultra-modern, zero maintenance oceanfront home with maxed- out square footage that would last forever," said Segal. And despite the many site constraints, Segal would adhere to Lemperle's requests.

Although Lemperle says the design is 'elegantly simple,' he admits the actual building was extremely complicated. Lemperle's goal was to create a "Home of the Future", or as he puts it, "Clean modern lines, minimalistic, green technology, maximized ocean views and… no maintenance-, and last he says, "And no worrying if I locked the doors and went away on a very long trip."

As if there weren't enough "must haves" on Lemperle's list, he wanted to achieve his design using every single square foot of the lot…and then some. This would be accomplished by adding plenty subterranean living space illuminated by natural daylight via glass ceilings.

Segal responded to Lemperle's vision with a massive, four-level poured-in-place and then polished concrete structure, lots of glass, walnut, Corten® weathering steel, and Reynobond® envelopes, raised to the maximum allowable height of 30 feet.

"Building underground is urban, Segal says and more exciting than suburban sprawl. It's also practical--perhaps the best way to offset "unforgiving land costs"-$4 million for this 4,200-square-foot, pie-shaped lot, half of which must be reserved for patios or landscape to meet building restrictions. Thus, adding subterranean living gave Lemperle 72% more living space that is neither taxed nor counted toward the maximum buildable square footage.

Fine art displayed throughout the house includes various local artists. Metal sculptures by artist Matt Devine are placed in the outdoor entertainment area as well as below the glass ceilings in the subterranean level. Paintings by German artist Matthias Koester can be found in both, the living room and subterranean space.

And as if Lemperle couldn't be happier with his four-level home, he also received praise from world-renowned, mid-century modern architecture photographer Julius Shulman, who called it the "Home of the Future" during a recent photo shoot for his next exhibition.

The 98-year-old Shulman said he was reminded of the first waterfront house he ever photographed in La Jolla back in the 1940's. He said back then was the first time he'd ever seen a house that had a "relationship with the sea- and Lemperle's home reflects this relationship even more dramatically".

Undeniably gorgeous, Lemperle's glass and concrete masterpiece was featured in an article found on - Riviera Magazine, San Diego, September 2008 issue, showcasing the home's unique beauty, as well as the 180 degrees of aquatic views Lemperle gets to wake up to.

About the La Jolla glass tower oceanfront home: The home took seven years to complete, including the lengthy coastal permitting process of three years. The design includes Smart Home Technology, low voltage Lutron® lighting, hydronic radiant floor heat, solar energy and an extensive subsurface draining system to collect ground water and recycle it- and to keep the house dry. This home has been featured in the LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle and The La Jolla architectural landmark was designed by San-Diego based award-winning architect Jonathan Segal FAIA. To see full article from LA Times:

For film and photo shoot inquiries please visit and contact the home owner, Dr. Stefan Lemperle.


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