Art Gallery and Residence in One, Malibu, by Steven Kent Architect

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Cotharin Project, a 12,000-square-foot single-family residence built on 27 acres, is designed by award-winning architect Steven Kent. Literally nestling in the Malibu hills, this site needed extensive grading in order to create the buildable spot, but the result is a home that seems rooted in its environment uncommonly well. Its “open” floor plan is, literally, just that in places: open to the outdoors, as seen in the ultra-modern kitchen at the back of the house. Fronted by a loose concrete “patio,” it is sheltered by part of the house’s roof, as well as being able to be closed off with privacy shades at night. Its location is ideal, facing directly onto the rectangular pool; this easygoing, casual kitchen and eating area, with spectacular views of the surrounding hills, can accommodate a healthy number of visitors. This is key — since this residence serves double-duty as both a home and an art gallery.

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Clean lines and neutral colors complement the art that can be seen on white walls, bringing the colors of outdoors into the living space. Upstairs sitting rooms, glimpsed through tinted glass and shadow, reveal soft, plump, couches and friendly seating areas where the family has both privacy and unbroken natural scenery to enjoy. The blue of sky and pool both are reflected in the azure panels of a garage, reached by way of a sand-toned stone drive. In pleasing counterpoint to the lavish use of white and wood throughout the home, well-spaced plantings serve as a still life of their own and accentuate the slope upon which the home perches like a sentinel. A challenging design and building project, Cotharin, in Malibu, stands as an outstanding work of art from the studios of Steven Kent.

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