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Frank Gehry’s Schnabel House In Brentwood Restored, Update and For Sale

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This is the design I had fantasized about for my own house, Frank Gehry once said when describing the Schnabel House. Many people agreed. Built in 1989, the Schnabel House in Brentwood was chosen by Living Architecture as one of the 20 Greatest American Houses of the 20th Century.

Just over 20 years since it was first built, this iconic home at 526 North Carmelina Avenue has been meticulously restored and upgraded to include cutting edge home automation technology to make day-to-day living even easier as if living in this house could ever be hard!


One of Gehrys last single family residences, the home was originally built 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 with Gehry.

In 2006, Jon Platt, Tony Award-winning producer of œAngels in America and the about-to-open œBook of Mormon purchased the Schnabel House in Brentwood. He then proceeded to spend the next four years remodeling it under the master architects guidance and using the highest degree of craftsmanship.

Platt told the Los Angeles Times that his mission was to œtake 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.

The 5,700-square-foot residence is comprised of four stand-alone buildings: the main house, the office, the guesthouse, and the garage/gym. Each are composed of stucco, wood, glass, lead, and copper. The complex is a village of sculptural forms encompassing spaces that are multi-dimensional and complex. The geometric forms represent a maturation of Gehrys architectural vocabulary at the time.

Spread out over three floors of living space, the home presents a synthesis of craft, textures and ideas in an extraordinary environment. Light and form are in constant flux as day and seasons change.

The main structure includes the 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 the house last year.)

Now more than ever, Gehry’s design melds modern and technological amenities with the celebrated architect’s profound artistic vision. Some of the modern updates added to the home include the installation of a thin film over the bedroom windows that block the suns glare with the swipe of an iPad. The iPad-managed home automation system also includes climate controls, televisions, lighting, and security cameras. WiFi, which was a challenge due to the thick concrete and metal in the buildings, has also been configured throughout the home.

The private, gated grounds include an olive orchard, reflecting pond, lap pool and striking views of the Getty. View a map of Frank Gehry’s Schnabel House at 526 North Carmelina Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90049.

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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