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Back to nature in Pacific Palisades

Hillside contemporary-style tree house was built with the environment in mind.

March 15, 2009|Dinah Eng

Split-level rooms surrounding a central courtyard and sliding glass doors that disappear into walls have created a contemporary-style tree house of sorts on a Pacific Palisades hillside.

All the rooms in this newly constructed home have light on at least two sides, bringing nature indoors to three levels of open space.

"Each level has a direct relationship to the grade of the hillside," says owner Richard Loring, a developer/builder in Los Angeles who worked closely with the architects, Predock_Frane, to design the house. "It was built with the environment in mind. The wood sidings are a passive solar mechanism, keeping the house cooler in summer and warmer in winter."

Recessed windows create natural shading, and cross ventilation pulls air through the center of the house when the glass doors are open. There are no outside downspouts or gutters. The metal roof funnels rainwater through a purification system that drains out at the bottom of the lot.

The main level includes a living/dining area divided by a free-standing Franklin stove that can turn to face either area. The stove is set over a glass hearth that looks into the family room below.

The kitchen, which features Miele appliances and a Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer, connects to the courtyard and a two-car garage. A few steps up from the foyer is a workout room that could also be used as an office or maid's room.

Downstairs is a family room and deck, set between two bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. Open closet areas can accommodate armoires, or be enclosed. On the top level is a master bedroom suite designed as a loft with open space, full-length storage cabinets along one wall and a private deck.


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Welcome to the neighborhood

Location: 16550 Akron St., Pacific Palisades 90272

Asking price: $2,699,000

Lot sold for: $950,000 in 2005

Size: There are four bedrooms and 4 1/2 bathrooms in 4,320 square feet.

Additional features: White oak hardwood floors, Carrara marble counters, bathtub and shower area, laundry room, storage room, central courtyard.

Around the neighborhood: In 2008, 200 single-family homes sold in the Pacific Palisades 90272 ZIP code at a median price of $2,175,000, according to MDA DataQuick, an increase of 4.3% from 2007. Last week there were 189 houses listed for sale on in the ZIP code, ranging in price from $899,000 to $25 million. Nearby properties listed for sale range from $1,435,000 to $4.25 million.

Listing agents: Erik Lerner, Crosby Doe Associates (800) 775-5582; Anthony Marguleas, Amalfi Estates, (310) 573-4245.

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